I’m very excited to say the Muse is just back from the fabulous Lake District with more news from the Elemental Coven. As couple of weeks ago, I gave you the first 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 months. The Lakeland Heatwave 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.
Three weeks ago I share Chapter 1 of Demon Interrupted. And for those of you who haven’t yet read the first chapter, never fear. Just follow the above link.
Enjoy Chapter Two, 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 Heatwave Trilogy: Body Temperature and Rising, Riding the Ether and Elemental Fire. Enjoy!
Chapter Two of DEMON INTERRUPTED
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.
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.
**Special thanks to Kev Mitnik Blisse for the lovely Demon Interrupted image!