I’m very happy to offer the thirteenth instalment of Demon Interrupted, a new story from the Elemental Coven that will be unfolding in its entirety right here on A Hopeful Romantic over the next few weeks with the final episode on October 31 — the final day of Things that Go Hump in the Night.
All through the month of October, A Hopeful Romantic will be celebrating all things paranormal and all Things that Go Hump in the Night. There’ll be lots of your favourite authors stopping by bringing with them lots of paranormal fun. There’ll be lots of great giveaways and lots of scary, sexy, excitement, so be sure to put Things that Go Hump in the Night on your calendar. Remember, the fun begins October 1st. More on that in a later post.
The Lakeland Witches Trilogy left so many stories untold and so many fun places in the lives of the Elemental Coven yet to be explored, that a serial seemed like the ideal way to share more of the coven’s adventure. With a coven that specialises in sex magic, it’s not only exciting to revisit my witches at Elemental Cottage, but it’s sizzling hot.
If you’ve missed the previous episodes of Demon Interrupted, find the links at the bottom of this instalment.
Enjoy Chapter thirteen, and thanks for joining the fun with this Work in Progress. If you want to know more about the Elemental Coven’s sexy adventures, check out the Lakeland Witches Trilogy: Body Temperature and Rising, Riding the Ether and Elemental Fire. Enjoy!
‘My darling, you are exhausted. You must get some rest.’ Anderson moved to stand by the chair where Cassandra sat next to Ferris’ bed and rested a hand on her shoulder. ‘Please, sleep but a little, and I will sit with him, for I need no rest.’
‘I can’t leave him,’ she replied, in a voice that broke Anderson’s heart with its anguish. ‘He would never leave me if I were … lost. I tried … I tried to go in, to chase the dream with him, but some force keeps pushing me out.’
‘And you’ve done so against my express orders,’ Tara said, entering the room. ‘We don’t know what we’re dealing with, only that Lucia served as Gateway for him into the Dream World, and if what she says is true, he has to find his way back to us on his own.’
Anderson did not ask the question that he knew burned in all of their minds, the question for which there was no answer. Was Ferris truly lying in his bed dreaming or had they all been pulled into a hallucination of his making? When he had been discovered thus, Tara had insisted that everyone but she and Sky leave Elemental Cottage and take up residence on Lacewing Farm to insure the safety of the coven. It was rare that Tara’s orders were resoundingly disobeyed, but in this case no one would leave the sleeping Ferris, and no one had even hinted at moving him into the scrying mirror prison for their protection. They were all encouraged that the rapid eye movement signified the man was indeed dreaming, but that too could be a hallucination.
‘Is he still running a fever?’ Tara asked.
Cassandra nodded. ‘Nothing’s changed. Has Marie or Alice learned anything more about this Elaine he speaks of? If we could find her perhaps she could help us.’
Tara shook her head. ‘Marie says there’s no records of an Elaine and Patrick Farringdon ever having lived in or around Storm Croft. Further more the records, which were pretty well intact back to the 16th Century show no hangings of any women there ever.’
‘But she’s real. I know she is. She has to be,’ Cassandra said. ‘And my gut tells me she’s the key to everything that’s happening to Ferris right now.’
‘No one is arguing with you,’ Tara said, ‘ but whoever she is, she didn’t come from Storm Croft. Marie and Alice are widening their searches.
Without warning, Ferris sat up wide-eyed in the bed and spoke in a voice that none in the room recognised. ‘My little witch, he suffers just as you wish, but I am in need of your company.’ Before Cassandra could question him, he fell back against the pillow.
What are you doing? How dare you bring him to me.’ Elaine cowered in the corner of the cot, blanket drawn up over her breasts. She trembled as she had not even when she had first summoned Ferris. ‘Get him out of here. Get him away from me!’
‘It is I who comes to you my dear little sorceress, be at peace,’ Ferris spoke from the lips of Patrick Farringdon. ‘I use his flesh, for as you know, I have none of my own, not real flesh. Please do not worry, I promise you his mind is on a dark journey that he will not soon forget, just as you requested. But I saw no reason to waste an opportunity, after all I ride more than souls, dear woman, and for me, it is a treat to indulge in the pleasures of the flesh.’
She placed her hand to her mouth and forced back a sob, and for a moment he feared that she would faint, but her strength, as always, was astounding. She took two deep breaths and spoke. ‘I do not care what you do with his flesh while you are playing with him, rider. But if it’s pleasures of the flesh you desire, seek them out with the kitchen maid or a whore in the village, or the stable boy, as he does. He brings no pleasures of the flesh to my bed!’ She shoved off the blanket and opened her thighs to expose dark bruises and angry red trails that looked like her thighs had been scored with a knife.
Strange to feel nausea, as he did. Strange to feel the physical fist of anger deep in his belly, that any man would treat a woman such as Elaine thusly. ‘I am sorry,’ he said softly. ‘I will return him to his bed and to his nightmares.’ As he left her, the flesh he had claimed felt less supple, less living, much more like the puppet that it was to him. Once he had shoved the moaning, whimpering Farringdon back into his bed, he tweaked his hallucinations to involve physical pain that matched his mental anguish.
He did not return to Elaine’s tower, for he sensed she was no longer there and, in truth, the fresh night air cleansed him of the vileness he felt from the body he had worn. While it was no less true that Patrick Farringdon’s flesh was just a vessel, that Ferris had upset Elaine by wearing it coupled with the sight of what Farringdon had done to her made him feel defiled. He found her in the overgrown garden to where she had summoned him upon their first meeting. She sat on the ground, was wrapped in only a blanket, staring into the ashes of the fire pit. He did not instantly move into her presence, but hovered above her in his non-corporeal form and watched her.
For three days her husband had been abed in his ague, and none in the great house, neither the physician, nor the priest, nor the village healer, could determine the cause, though some who knew him well suspected it was bad rum, or perhaps something he had contracted from a whore in the city. Elaine had not visited his room, feigning that her monthly cycle was heavily upon her, keeping her confined. Ferris could not comprehend why one so desirous that the man should suffer did not herself long to see the sufferings which he had visited upon the despicable creature. It wasn’t that she had not the backbone for such a task. Ferris was firmly convinced that if she could bring upon the monster more suffering than he, then she would have never summoned him and made such a desperate and dangerous bargain.
‘But do you not want to see how I make him suffer for you, my little witch?’ He had asked as rumour spread throughout the great house and the village of Farringdon’s strange ailment.
‘My dearest wish is to not look upon him again until he is a corpse,’ she replied.
‘Do you not know that there are rumours whispered that you have not come to your ailing husband’s side because your sorcery is the cause of his illness?’
‘They are not rumours, my dear rider, and I do not fear them. My life I have already relinquished into your hands as soon as he breathes his last.’
‘Ah, but if they act upon their suspicions and, if you are tried and condemned as a witch, then I may lose my payment for services rendered. This would displease me greatly.’
‘Then make every moment of his suffering seem as a thousand years, rider. This, I know you can do. Finish up the task with haste and claim your wage.’ He had never met such a woman as she and, in truth, what he now visited upon Farringdon delighted him most because it pleased her, and because he wanted, with all of the heart he knew he did not have, to avenge her suffering.
She breathed out a sigh that settled as barely visible mist above the fire pit. ‘I can feel you watching me, demon,’ she said without looking up. ‘Take form that I may see you. Your body is not repugnant to me. In truth, I find you pleasant to look upon. Show yourself and come sit with me.’
His body. He could not now remember from whence his body had come. It was little more than a memory of a physical form he once held, of the flesh of a soul he had once ridden, but he had kept the vessel because it was pleasing to him and particularly responsive to the pleasures of the flesh, though not in the way real flesh was when he controlled it. But it pleased him that she found him easy to look upon, almost as if the act he could now no longer recall had been done only to satisfy this mortal woman.
He did as she commanded. Strange that he allowed such a fragile being so much control over him. ‘I am sorry that my actions earlier displeased you. It was thoughtless of me. Though I meant it as a gift for both of us, I had not thought that in your weak mortal eyes, and with the burden of human memory upon you, you would not be able to see Farringdon’s flesh as I do, as nothing more than a vessel, which might be of some use to me.’
She reached out and laid a hand against the broadness of his chest, and he became aware that he was naked. He had always come to her naked, and for some reason this pleased him. It pleased him even more that she did not disapprove. ‘I have no objection to you using his flesh in any way you see fit, rider and, I assure you, I understand better than you think the use of flesh as a vessel, as a tool. Still, the sight of him sickens me, and I would require much more than my allotted time on this earth to look upon Patrick Farringdon’s flesh and see it as just a vessel. For that I apologise. I would ask, no I would beg, that when you’ve done as I have asked and when you take me, whatever use it is that you have for me, that it will not involve his flesh.’
He closed his fingers around hers and pulled them to his lips. ‘I have no wish to cause you pain, my dear little witch. You have suffered enough. You have my word that your service to me shall not involve that vile creature’s flesh. And now, I would offer you a small token of my esteem.’ He pushed the blanket open where it covered her thighs and she gave a little gasp of surprise as he eased it away from her soft flesh until the dark nest of curls that protected her womanhood was exposed. Then he very gently pushed open her legs, forcing her to lean back and place her palms against the earth for support. At first she tensed, then relaxed as he viewed her injuries. The breath he did not need, he drew in a hiss. ‘There is nothing I can do to this vermin to whom you are so hideously yoked that he does not deserve.’ Then he lowered his face until he could smell the scent of ocean and honey and sunrise nestled delectably just below the soft curls, and he placed a kiss on one inner thigh. The catch of her breath was sharp with surprise and perhaps a little pain, and she curled her fingers in his hair as he moved to do the same to the other.
‘What have you done?’ Her voice came out thin and childlike.
‘I have healed what Patrick Farringdon has wounded.’
With a little gasp of awe, she looked down to find the wounds on her inner thighs gone and pale healthy flesh in their place.
Before she could respond to his efforts, he moved to rest his head on her belly and she lay back on one elbow and welcomed the weight, fingers caressing the crown of his head and the nape of his neck. ‘Would that I could undo all that he has done and take that memory from you, my dear little witch.’ He planted a kiss on her navel, and felt her belly tense beneath his lips.
‘Do you have a name, rider? Oh I know that demons keep their true names secret, but you must have some name that I may call you.’
He lifted his head and met her gaze. ‘I am called Ferris when I have need of a name, and it would please me if you would use it when we speak.’
‘Ferris,’ she cupped his cheek and held him in the thrall of her dark eyes. ‘Why did you bring my husband to me tonight?’
‘I wished to show you that flesh can give pleasure as well as pain, for I believe this you have not known, and I mistakenly surmised that you would be more comfortable with mortal flesh than with my demon form.’
For a long moment the only sounds were the slight breeze in the trees and the rumble of distant thunder that threatened rain. He, who had no breath, felt as though he were holding it in his chest, waiting for her to speak.
When, at last she did, it was as though she released the breath he had been holding. ‘And can you not do that better with this body in which you came to me?’
‘The body in which you summoned me?’ He reached out and pushed the blanket away from her shoulders so that he could see her breasts, nipples raised and swollen against her fullness. Surely he was just receptive to the thunderous beating of her heart beneath them, but it felt as though something inside him mirrored its thunder and rejoiced in its nearness. ‘I can, my little witch. If you wish it.’
There was another moment of silence, in which his whole world became the beating of her fragile human heart and then she spoke in a whisper, as though her voice had left her. ‘I wish it, Ferris.’
It could not be that he felt such relief, such delight in her desire for him. He was a soul rider. Human emotions fed him; they did not affect him. He was incapable of feeling what transient mortals felt, and yet his desire for her was somehow beyond the need of his cock. He stretched out above her, sheltering her as the sky shelters the earth, and the sound in her throat was dark and rich and aching as her arms encircled his neck.
‘Show me pleasure, my demon. Show me all things I have not known. For in truth I shall never know them if you do not show me.’ Her lips curled in a smile as one hand left his neck and found its way to his cock. ‘Will there be room inside me for the sizeable staff you wield, rider?’
With his thigh, he eased open her legs and caressed a path down her belly, his fingers cupping their way through her curls. She gasped and bucked beneath him as he found her hardness. ‘Do not you worry my little witch, I will be certain that your womanhood is well prepared before my staff does your bidding.’
Her laugh sizzled along his flesh like the magic that had drawn him here. ‘My dear demon, no one’s staff has ever done my bidding.’
‘Then I am honoured that mine shall be the first.’ He opened her heavy folds with a stroke of two fingers and his cock jerked in her fist. ‘I believe your lovely portal weeps with joy at the very thought of commanding my staff, dear little sorceress. What new and powerful magic is this that you work on me, that I, who can have all and desire nothing desire you as I have never known desire.’ He raked his thumb across her hardened pearl and sighed as she sucked her lower lip and ground her bottom against the blanket. ‘And the scent of you, my dear woman, I am transported to paradise by the fragrance of your desire for me. And if the scent of you leaves me in such ecstasy, I can scarce imagine your sweetness on my tongue.’
‘Ferris no. Ferris, you shouldn’t.’ She squirmed in an effort to escape him, but he held her until she calmed, then lowered a kiss just above her mound of her womanhood.
‘Oh but I should, little one, and I must, and I promise you shall take pleasure in feeding me from your nectar.’ And he tasted her, from the hardened pearl of her lust to the very boundary of her nether hole, finding the deep, narrow well of her pleasure silky wet and honey and salt against his tongue, delighting in the vibrations of her moans, the tremblings of her pleasure. As the storm broke above them and the first raindrops dewed her soft flesh, he released her pleasure to flood her folds and down onto his face as she bucked and writhed against him.
‘Ferris! My demon,’ she cried out. ‘What have you done to me? Oh dear Goddess! I am undone!’
‘I have only begun to undo you, my darling witch. For there is a lifetime of pleasure you have not had, and I will do my best to make this moment seem as a thousand years. A thousand years of pleasure with you, my dear little sorceress, would never be enough. Taste your sweetness, my love.’ He rose above her, face glistening with her release, and she kissed him and ran her tongue along his jaw and over his cheek, and the ache in his cock was such as he could have never imagined.
She pulled away breathless, and held his gaze. ‘I now wish to command your staff, my sweet demon.’ With one hand, she reached for him, with the other she held open her swollen folds and, as he pushed into her tight depths, the storm broke in earnest.
Here are the links to the previous episodes in case you missed them:
Chapter 6 Beneath the Weight of Shadow
Chapter 7 Possessions
Chapter 8 Necessities and Inconveniences
Chapter 9 Demon Dreams
Chapter 10 Backlash
Chapter 11 Chasing the Dream
Chapter 12 The Summoning