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10th Instalment of Demon Interrupted: A Lakeland Witches Story

Demon Interrupted CoverI’m very happy to offer the tenth 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 with the final episode on October 31 along with a special celebration and lots more Lakeland Witches fun.

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 episode.

Enjoy Chapter Ten, 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 RisingRiding the Ether and Elemental Fire. Enjoy! 


Chapter 10


‘Elaine? Elaine, where are you?’ It was long past midnight when Ferris made his way into the garden. He had searched for her through all the rooms in Storm Croft remembering that she had once lived here, and thinking that she might have her favourite places in which to retreat if she were overwhelmed by the dream magic that had happened in the Room of Reflection. But then, if he wasn’t in the Room of Reflection, if he was still here in Storm Croft … He scrubbed a hand over his face trying to make sense of it all. Had he been in Storm Croft all along? Had he simply fallen back asleep after he had made love with Elaine? Had she left than only him to his rest? Surely this wasn’t a dream. His head hurt too bad for this to be a dream. But then again, how would he know what a dream felt like?

On the other hand, how could he have dreamed the last two days at Elemental Cottage? He didn’t dream. He didn’t! ‘Lucia,’ he called in a voice that felt like gravel against his raw throat. ‘Lucia, I need you.’ He knew better than to get huffy with the demon. Her agenda was her own, and her concern for humans and their struggles was limited. But then again, he reminded himself, he wasn’t human, was he? Or was even his lack of humanity a dream? He walked into the overgrown garden behind the stone wall where he had spent time with Elaine, where he had first realised he lived in a stolen body. But even that might have been a dream. Sweat broke on his forehead as he tried for the dozenth time to leave his flesh and take whatever form it was that he had taken, to become the thing that Lucia insisted he was, the thing that Elaine preferred over his flesh, he reminded himself. Unless he had only dreamed Elaine.

That thought left a surprising emptiness below his heart. It was a thing he had never felt before. Even in his caring for Cassandra, even when he was most concerned for her, it had never felt like this. He rubbed his chest with the heel of his hand as though he could somehow ease an ache that was not physical. The ache intensified as he struggled in vane not to think about the obvious. Hallucinations, Lucia had said. If he didn’t deal with his past, he would suffer from hallucinations. Dear goddess, surely Elaine was more than a hallucination. She had to be. Surely he could never have imagined such a woman who could move him as she had.

His thoughts were interrupted by the unmistakeable grunts and moans of sex. Overhead clouds scudded across the surface of the nearly full moon and floated away leaving the garden bathed in shades of sliver and grey. From behind the oak tree, he caught the movement of shadows and the whimper of a woman in lust. With his heart hammering in his chest, he moved on silent feet until his view was no longer obscured, and his stomach turned to ice. It was a hallucination, then, surely it had to be. His conviction at such should have made him feel better, but it didn’t.

Before him, he saw the broad back of an enormous man in a waistcoat and a dark shirt. His  leather trousers were shoved down low and obviously open as the man grunted and thrust into a woman, who was hidden between the tree and the man’s large body so that Ferris could see only her pale arms around the man’s neck, and on bare thigh, hooked over his hip.

Lakeland Witches 1 BTRThe fine hairs on the back of Ferris’ neck rose and the summer breeze felt as though it blew off the arctic. Surely this couldn’t be. Surely…

Ferris felt the man’s deep-chested chuckle like a low rumble making his bones ache. It wasn’t possible. It couldn’t be.

‘Oh I assure you, it’s completely possible, my dear Mr. Ryder.’ Just then the woman keened out a desperate orgasm, and Ferris held his breath, knowing what he would see, but hoping against hope he was wrong. As the sounds of orgasm dissipated, the man pulled free, and shielded the woman’s modesty from view with his enormous body. Ferris watched in horror as shadow gave way to silver moonlight revealing in its glint the face of all the nightmares Ferris would have had if he’d dreamed. Tall and broad and as impossibly beautiful and he was horrible, Deacon turned to face him, making no effort to tuck away his enormous wet cock.

For a second, Ferris thought he’d be sick, he who could not remember illness. But his memories of fighting Deacon beside the Elemental Coven were a reminder that there were worse things than illness – much worse. He swallowed back bile and struggled to stand up straight under the weight of the demon’s powerful presence.

‘You look as though you’ve seen a ghost, Mr. Ryder.’ Deacon’s eyes were obsidian black in the moonlight and his smile sent a shiver up Ferris’s spine. ‘Well, I suppose you have in a way, haven’t you – ghost, demon, magical flesh, honestly one such as I defies description, wouldn’t you say, my dear man?’ His smile fell, and the sudden look of concern on his face was obscene in its parody. ‘You don’t look well, Ferris. Though I’m not surprised, not once you’ve found out that all you’ve believed about yourself, about those you love, is nothing more than an illusion. A bit difficult to stomach, I should imagine.’

Involuntarily, Ferris took a step back. Behind Deacon, the woman whimpered and mumbled something that Ferris couldn’t quite make out. The demon didn’t move, only watched with a bemused smile. ‘Oh that bitch, Lucia, is absolutely right about your … predicament. She was right about the hallucinations, and about you pulling the Elemental Coven into those hallucinations right a long with you.’ He took a step closer still holding the woman behind his back. ‘But the slut was just a little confused on the timing, that’s all. Typical of Lucia, really.  Shush, my darling,’ he called over his shoulder to the woman, whose moaning had grown louder. ‘I know that you need me to fuck you again, but all in good time, my dear, all in good time.’ He absently stroked his erection as he turned his attention back to Ferris.

Lakeland Witches 2 RTE‘You remember my destruction, don’t you, dear Ferris? Of course you do. You remember your precious succubus imprisoning me in that infernal mirror the Elemental Coven latched on to? You remember happily fucking everyone in that cottage, don’t you? I’m sure for one such as you that was quite memorable.’ He clucked his tongue. ‘Oh yes, indeed, you have good memories of your time with the Elemental Coven, don’t you? And wasn’t it such a boost for the ego you didn’t even know you had to feel like you could help them a little in their quest to destroy me, to feel like maybe in just a tiny way you were a hero and that they all happily invited you to their beds.’ His laugh was loud and rough-edged, causing Ferris to take another step back.

‘You? Honestly Ferris Ryder. Look at yourself – living out your life in a stolen body, hiding behind weak, puny flesh and assuming anything those Elemental sluts might offer you would be anything other than, what is it they call it these days, oh yes, a sympathy fuck. But the real you, the rider, well, now that’s something different, isn’t it?’ Deacon moved to circle him, still stroking his cock with one hand while keeping the whimpering woman obscured behind him with the other. ‘Yes, that’s right, I know what you are. I know exactly what you are, and the truth is, my dear Mr. Ryder, you were magnificent.’ He shook his head. ‘I can’t tell you how saddened I was when you made your little bargain with Lucia. Oh, the delicious destruction you would have wrought if she hadn’t interfered. Ah, but then we live in a world where men are way too often pussy-whipped, as they say. It saddens me terribly to see such a powerful creature as you residing within the weak decay of human flesh, a beautiful, irresistible creature, a powerful creature, a creature filled with carnal lusts not unlike my own. I don’t understand, my dear Ferris, why you would not want to shrug off Patrick Faraday’s miserable flesh as quickly as possible and embrace your true nature. Look at you. Even dear Elaine cannot bare to look upon the flesh you wear. Even she longs for the creature you truly are.’

With those words, he stepped aside revealing the woman, who had now dropped to her knees, both arms wrapped around one of Deacon’s tree trunk thighs. ‘Please milord, please,’ she begged in breathless sobs. ‘I need it so badly. I need it inside me. Please …’

Her words died away in a strangled gasp as Deacon fisted the lead to the noose around her neck tightly into his hand, forcing her cheek against his leg. ‘Quiet, Elaine. I’ll fuck your slut of a hole when I’m done with this one. Unless perhaps you would prefer his cock.’

With an anguished groan, Ferris stepped forward and reached out his hand. But Elaine let out a high pitched yelp and tightened her grip onto Deacon’s leg, trembling so hard that Ferris feared she would injure herself. ‘No milord, please no! It’s you I want. It’s you I need. He frightens me.’

With all his strength, Ferris tried to leave Patrick Faraday’s body, but to no avail. Deacon watched, still stroking his cock, his rope-fisted hand, now rubbing an angry red abrasion against the exposed flesh of Elaine’s breasts, an act that made her writhe against him and shove a trembling hand up under her torn skirt. To his horror, Ferris’ cock hardened at the sight of her lust, and he found himself wanting to take her while he offered himself to Deacon at the same time. He shook his head and fell to his knees in an anguished groan ‘No! This is the illusion. This is a dream, that’s all. This isn’t how it happened. Elaine would never let you –’

Deacon practically roared with laughter. ‘Elaine had no more choice in the matter than you will when I am tired of toying with her and decided to use up your lust now that you’re tied to that horrid little body. And you’ll be as anxious for my cock as Elaine is, as your succubus was, as Tara Stone and all of the pathetic Elemental Coven were. Oh yes, Ferris Ryder, your hallucination has been a very long, very complex one, one that I must say, I’ve enjoyed immensely.’

He took a step forward, yanking the rope and forcing Elaine to stumble next to him. ‘Shall I tell you what’s real, my dear Mr. Ryder? Shall I tell you what you’ve missed while you’ve been lost in your own illusions?

Lakeland Witches 3 EF‘As soon as that whore, Lucia, freed you from her hold, the hallucinations began, just as she knew they would. But she had no further need of you. She cared not for your plight. She never cared for your plight, Ferris. She cared only for the succubus, but then you knew that, didn’t you? Still,’ he heaved a dramatic sigh, ‘you had hoped, as one would, that the Elemental Coven, or at the very least the succubus, would have stood by you, tried to help you find your way back to yourself, but alas, my dear man, you were … expendable. Do you even think this place is real?’ He waved a hand and suddenly the three of them were inside Serina Ravenmoor’s scrying mirror prison. ‘I’ve only just now discovered that you were here. They put you here almost immediately when you were of no further use to them, when they feared what you might become without the demon’s pact. But my dear Ferris, even your imprisonment wasn’t enough to protect them from your hallucinations.’

Deacon looked around at the grey, horizonless emptiness. ‘All of the events of which I speak, they happened quite some time ago, I’m sorry to say, but I so enjoyed them. As for the Elemental Coven, I have long since –’ he chuckled lewdly ‘—used them all up, ghosts, succubus, witches all gone, every last one. Mind you, I savoured every moment. I am nothing if not a master when it comes to … foreplay.’ He gave an extra hard thrust into his fist. ‘And your lovely little succubus was a very delectable treat, just as I expected.’ He held Ferris in a gaze that made if feel like the earth beneath him tilted like a ship on the waves. ‘Of course I have you to thank for such an exhilarating triumph, my dear Mr. Ryder. Your hallucinations so easily pulled the whole coven into your private little insanity, that I simply waltzed in and took what I wanted.’ He leaned forward offering a smile that could have never been human. ‘Like the proverbial fox in the hen house.’

‘No!’ Ferris shook his head so hard that his vision blurred. ‘None of this is real. This is the dream! It has to be! It’s a dream! Lucia!’ He called out. ‘Lucia, please! I’ll do whatever it takes, please!’ He called until his throat ached, until he had no voice left, but Deacon paid no attention. With some slight of hand Ferris had not seen, they were once again back in the overgrown garden and Deacon had thrown the end of the rope over a low-hanging branch of the oak and given the hanging noose just enough slack that, though Elaine hung from her neck, she could still wrap her legs around Deacon’s waist while he thrust into her endlessly. Periodically, he pulled out and gave her body a hard shove as though she were a child in a macabre swing, then he entered her again, and again, with her always, desperately whimpering and begging for more. All the while, Ferris called for Lucia until at last, Deacon swung the hanging Elaine in Ferris’ direction. ‘Oh do shut up. Lucia’s not going to come to you. Surely you know that. Here, why don’t you have a go at Elaine? That aught to cheer you up,’ the demon called out jauntily. ‘I’m not a selfish man, and I promise you, even if she is a ghost, there’s a lot of good use in her cunt yet.

Elaine swung into his arms clawing and screaming in terror. ‘Don’t let him touch me, don’t let him touch me, don’t let him touch me,’ she cried, as Ferris struggled to hold her, to calm her.

‘Guess she doesn’t want to fuck you, Mr. Ryder. Bad luck that,’ the demon said, grabbing the rope to pull her back to him.

But before he did, Elaine grabbed Ferris’ face between her hands and for the briefest moment held his gaze. ‘It’s not real,’ she mouthed. ‘He’s not real. Follow the dream and come back to me. I’ll guide you.’ The Pic from ETO winBqxJnN_CEAIXatU.jpg-largeground gave way beneath him, and he found himself falling endlessly, falling for an age, falling through the night sky as the moon waxed and waned and waxed again, falling through the cold emptiness of the Ether, through the graveyard Deacon had created to hold him and Alice prisoner there, falling through the dark woods of Raven Crag where Serina Ravenwood’s ghost had guided them to her scrying mirror, falling into the deserted Dream Cave where he had always witnessed but never dreamed. Until now.


Here are the links to the previous episodes in case you missed them:

Chapter 1 Demon Interrupted: Perchance to Dream.

Chapter 2 Demon Interrupted: A Chat with a Demon

Chapter 3 Demon Interrupted: Enter the Shadows

Chapter 4 Demon Interrupted: Dark Chrysalis

Chapter 5 Demon Interrupted: The Empty Spaces in Between

Chapter 6 Beneath the Weight of Shadow

Chapter 7 Possessions

Chapter 8 Necessities and Inconveniences

Chapter 9 Demon Dreams

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The 9th Instalment of Demon Interrupted: A Lakeland Witches Story

Demon Interrupted CoverI’m very happy to offer the ninth 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 with the final episode on October 31 along with a special celebration and lots more Lakeland Witches fun.

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.

Here are the links to the previous episodes in case you missed them:

Chapter 1 Demon Interrupted: Perchance to Dream.

Chapter 2 Demon Interrupted: A Chat with a Demon

Chapter 3 Demon Interrupted: Enter the Shadows

Chapter 4 Demon Interrupted: Dark Chrysalis

Chapter 5 Demon Interrupted: The Empty Spaces in Between

Chapter 6 Beneath the Weight of Shadow

Chapter 7 Possessions

Chapter 8 Necessities and Inconveniences

Enjoy Chapter Nine, 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 RisingRiding the Ether and Elemental Fire. Enjoy! 

Lakeland Banner new10358733_753604251350423_1560284403319862756_n

Chapter 9

Demon Dreams

A small rivulet of perspiration trickled down Marie’s back as she looked down into the scrying mirror that had belonged to Serina Ravenmoor, the scrying mirror that contained the ethereal prison that had held Deacon. None of the memories involving the infernal thing were pleasant ones.

‘The arrangement is not to my liking either.’ Anderson spoke next to her. ‘But it is important that we have a way to keep the coven safe from Ferris and Ferris safe from himself.’ He took her hand and squeezed it gently.

‘They’ve been in there too long,’ Marie whispered.

‘Do not worry, Marie. Cassandra knows what it is she does, and she has only to will herself to return, and you have only to will the prison door closed behind her, though I do not think that it shall be necessary at this point.’

‘We’re all right,’ Cassandra called up from inside the mirror as though she had heard their concern. Ferris figured she well might have, since he had no problem hearing them. Voices from outside the mirror prison seemed to carry down to its occupants almost as though they were amplified. Though he assumed when the prison was shut and locked all sounds from above, all contact with the outside world would cease. He shivered at the thought.

‘The space inside is secure, as it’s ever been.’ Ferris spoke softly. He wondered if those above could so easily hear his voice. ‘Once Marie shuts the door, so to speak, I won’t be going anywhere.’ And now that he was no longer focused on the couple above, he heard the soft chatters of Anderson and Marie as though he were listening to them from inside a deep well and, indeed, the scrying mirror prison was much like a deep well, a deep well filled with a tiny slice of the Ether. It had been created as a prison for demons. For creatures such as himself, he thought bitterly. Of all that he had suspected of his past, that he might be a demon had never occurred to him. With a start, he felt Cassandra lace her fingers through his.

‘Don’t borrow, trouble, Ferris. I know your heart. We all know your heart, and all of us, every one of us, has a past we’re not fond of.’

‘Demons don’t have hearts,’ he replied, sounding far more bitter than he intended.

‘I’m not so sure about that. Spending quality time with my mother has caused me to question all things I know about demons, and the truth is, none of us knows all that much about them. Besides Lucia says you’re not exactly a demon.’ Before he could respond, she raised a hand and placed two fingers across his lips. ‘I know who you are, Ferris. I know what you sacrificed to protect me, to be there for me, and that’s not something evil would do.’

‘Perhaps I had no choice.’

She studied his face for a moment, than ran her hand along his cheek. ‘Perhaps not.’

‘And that doesn’t worry you?’

For a long time she said nothing and when he was convinced her lack of an answer was the answer he dreaded, she said, ‘Often things we’re forced to do end up being exactly the things we would have gladly done if we’d only understood at the beginning how they would affect us.’ Then she took him into her arms and held him. ‘You’ve been my family and my friend for a very long time, Ferris. When there was no one else, you were there, and me … well I wasn’t easy to get close to. It must have been lonely for you.’

‘Surely you know that it was not. Surly you know that Lucia made it very simple for me to live from day to day with little forethought and little reflection.’

‘Perhaps that’s true,’ Cassandra said, pulling away to look into his eyes, ‘but time and situations bring about changes we never anticipated, not even a demon like Lucia. And no one else could have been to me what you were in all those empty years.’

This time he pulled her into his arms and held her close. ‘I must ask you a favour Cassandra.’

‘Of course. Anything.’

‘There is a question no one has asked, and yet one that must be answered if, perchance, the worst happens.’

She stepped back, a look of suspicion settling lightly on her face.

‘Find out from Lucia if there is a way to …’ He turned away and paced in the emptiness, unable to meet her gaze. ‘You need to know. The coven needs to know if there’s a way to … end my existence, should things become too difficult, should I lose myself completely in the hallucinations.’ Before she could protest, he continued, raising his hands and looking around. ‘I know that you can keep me in this space indefinitely, and that is preferable to the alternatives, but if I am unable to find my way back to myself, if I am only safe when locked away in this little slice of the Ether, then … then it’s best for everyone if I am … destroyed.’

He could see the muscles along her jaw tighten. The misting of her eyes did not hide the dilation of pupils and the lightening in colour that meant the succubus within her was angry. She swallowed hard, raked her teeth over her bottom lip and said, ‘it won’t come to that. This coven will not give up on its own. If they didn’t give up on me, then they won’t give up on you and you shouldn’t –’

‘I’m not you, Cassandra, and this coven has been through enough at the hands of demons.’

‘This coven has been restored in part at the hand of a demon,’ she snapped.

‘That may be, but I need your promise, and if you don’t give it to me, I’ll simply approach Lucia directly. I would rather not do that. I would rather trust myself to you.’

She cursed out loud. ‘All right! All right. I’ll do what you ask. But I promise you it won’t come to that.’

He felt the tension drain away from his shoulders. ‘Good. And there is then one more favour I must ask you, darling Cassandra.’

She folded her arms across her chest and said nothing.

‘I need to know that Elaine will be taken care of if … if the worst happens. It’ll be hard for her, and having people who can care for her, comfort her will facilitate her healing.’

‘Goddamn it, Ferris! You know we would do that anyway, whether or not the worst happens, but I’m sick of you borrowing trouble. Now, this place gives me the creeps. Let’s get the fuck out of here so Fiori and Sky can prepare the room of reflection for dream magic.’


castlerigg_Stone_Circle1 It was evening before the circle convened. Tara and Kennet had spent a good portion of the day coaching Elaine on dream magic. That she was a witch had been clear almost immediately, but the sex magic practiced by the Elemental Coven was unique and the dream magic rooted in sex even more specific. Fortunately she seem caught on fast. Also, because of the specific nature of the task at hand, special precautions had to be taken and powerful protection spells had to be cast. Normally dream magic would have been done in the Dream Cave, but because the scrying mirror prison never left the alter, and the mirrors that surrounded the Room of Reflection added to the type of magic necessary should the coven need to imprison Ferris in the mirror, the Room of Reflection would be the place where the dream magic took place.

That Ferris didn’t dream, that he had chosen not to dream since he was released from the pact with Lucia, complicated the magic even further and also made the inclusion of Elaine in the circle essential. Elaine seemed to have touched Ferris in an emotional way no one else in the Elemental Coven had, therefore Tara felt she might well be the key to the success of the magic they were about to perform.

When, at last, the circle was cast, Ferris and Elaine lay upon the central dream pallet, surrounded by the strongest dreamers. Tara and Kennet lay on the pallet to their right and Cassandra and Tim lay on a pallet to their left. Anderson and Marie held the mirror at the ready because Anderson was the best at Ethereal magic and Marie was gifted at scrying, and she had a history and a connection with the mirror.

Alice joined Fiori and Sky as a witness. That there were three of them made their efforts magically stronger for observing Ferris’s dreams as well as encouraging him into the dream, and he feared he’d need all of the encouragement he could get. It would also be their job to guide him safely back if he were overwhelmed by the dream. Before the coven gathered in the Room of Reflection, Sky had guided Ferris in meditation and given him herbs to thin the boundaries between the Dream World and the Waking World, and he had done everything he could to be calm and prepared. Still, he felt as though something cold and dark breathed on him from just outside his field of vision, awaiting the approach of sleep so that it could reveal itself to him in all its horror. Better that than putting those he loved at risk, he reminded himself.

With a catch of his breath, and a squaring of his shoulders, he began the ritual. He eased the robe down off Elaine’s shoulders and cupped her breasts, focusing on her body and the comfort and the pleasure it gave him. She shrugged out of the robe and lay down next to him; opening her legs so that, in the dance of the candlelight, he could see the Gateway she offered him into the Dream World and, at its apex, the Key Stone that would help him focus. In his peripheral vision, not entirely in physical form, but more than just a vapour, Lucia hovered, watching over the ritual, watching over him. Her presence was strangely reassuring, and at the moment, he needed all of the reassurance he could get.

‘It’ll be all right, my darling,’ Elaine whispered against his ear, as she pulled him down to her. I have you here in my arms, and I won’t let you go. I’ll companion you, and I’ll come back to this place with you when you’ve found what you need to know.’ Her slender fingers slid between them and caressed the weight of his testicles and the length of his penis, anxiously hardening in against her touch.

Desire for her washed over him in heavy, pounding waves, she was his companion, she was his path, she was his breath, she was his life force, and he needed her. He kissed his way down the tetchy muscles of her belly, lingering to caress her navel, before descending to the Key Stone. He felt her buck against him and her body quivered at his touch as he tongued her clit and tugged at it with his lips. Below the pebbled swell of her, he fingered her open, probing and thrusting up into the silky mother of pearl wetness slickening against his touch. She was tight and her grip made him feel as though a heavy weight burgeoned between his legs. To his right, Tara wrapped her legs around Kennet’s waist and her hips undulated beneath him. Cassandra and Tim mirrored their lovemaking to the left, and far off he could feel the magic Marie and Anderson were raising like heat waves shimmering off a fire. Then the room slipped into a background haze like a mist on the high fells.

‘You’re ready.’ He heard her voice with the clarity of a black bird singing in high summer. ‘Enter the dream with me, Ferris. Let me help you find your way.’

As he thrust up into her once, and the sound of running water filled his ears, like the fast moving streams that tumbled down the mountainsides. He thrust again, deep and desperate. From far off, he heard her moan softly, calling is name, and then there was wind, drowning out her voice, drowning out everything. With the third thrust, his name on her lips became a mantra on the wind and he found himself floating high above Derwent Water, away from Keswick. He could see the traffic on the A66 like a trail of ants far below him. He could see the rising saddle of Blencathera and the dragon spine of Sharp
Edge. One final thrust and the landscape below swirled, blurred, and moved past him at dizzying speed. The roar in his ears intensified like a storm at sea and then howled like an angry beast. Then he fell from a high place. He thought the sound he heard might have been his own cry of terror as he fell and fell, endlessly fell.

And sometime, an eternity later, he landed with a bruising impact that took his breath away, that left him Pic from ETO winBqxJnN_CEAIXatU.jpg-largeblinded and shivering. ‘Elaine? Elaine, where are you?’ He woke to the sound of his own voice. His teeth chattered from cold and body ached and felt raw as though he had been flayed. It was dark, except for the heavy moon shining in the window. Carefully, he sat up and looked around. He found himself in the study at Storm Croft. On the desk next to him sat the basket with what remained of the gourmet treats Fiori had packed for him and for his visit to Storm Croft. His hand still rested against his open fly and his spent cock. There was no sign of Elaine.


The 8th Instalment of Demon Interrupted: A Lakeland Witches Story

Demon Interrupted CoverI’m very happy to offer the eighth 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 with the final episode on October 31 along with a special celebration and lots more Lakeland Witches fun.

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.

And this week, I’m very proud to share the new cover for the serial designed by the incredibly talented Kev Mitnik Blisse to go with the new covers of the Lakeland Witches Trilogy. Thanks Kev! You’re the best!

Here are the links to the previous episodes in case you missed them:




Chapter 1 Demon Interrupted: Perchance to Dream.

Chapter 2 Demon Interrupted: A Chat with a Demon

Chapter 3 Demon Interrupted: Enter the Shadows

Chapter 4 Demon Interrupted: Dark Chrysalis

Chapter 5 Demon Interrupted: The Empty Spaces in Between

Chapter 6 Beneath the Weight of Shadow

Chapter 7 Possessions

Enjoy Chapter Eight, 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 RisingRiding the Ether and Elemental Fire. Enjoy! 

Lakeland new banner10358733_753604251350423_1560284403319862756_n

Chapter 8

Necessities and Inconveniences

There was a loud crash in the kitchen followed by a distressed cry from Fiori. Tara belted her robe around her waist as she ran down the stairs, Kennet, close on her heels, was still wrapped in the towel from the shower. By the time she reached the last step, the tight stirring in her chest that rearranged itself, shifting and settling low in her belly told her that Lucia, her resident demon was back from her wanderings. ‘’Bout fucking time,’ she said under her breath, but all she got in response was a good dose of smug.

‘I’m sorry! I’m sorry.’ She heard Ferris’s voice from the kitchen along with a tense yelp from Elaine. But as she rounded the corner, it wasn’t Ferris she saw standing over Fiori, who had clearly lost her balance and stumbled against one of the kitchen stools. She would have tipped it over and gone off backward if the man crowding in hadn’t caught her. But though the voice was Ferris’ the body clearly was not, or at least not the Ferris the coven was used to. The dark man who had Fiori around the waist easing her onto her feet made the kitchen seem small. His broad shoulders practically blotted out the sun streaming in through the window behind him.

‘I’m all right! I’m all right.’ Fiori’s voice was breathless as she stepped out of the man’s reach, shoving a cascade of wild red hair away from her face. ‘I just … I just wasn’t expecting … you … Ferris?’

‘What the fuck?’ Tim, just back from farm chores, slid through the kitchen door in his stocking feet, looking Ferris up and down. Tim was a big man. All the men in the Elemental Coven were over six feet and well muscled, but the man standing before Fiori had another six inches at least, and his shoulders and biceps strained at a faded grey shirt that looked as though it might have been hand-spun from a different era. His clothing was all out of time, and yet it was not all from the same time. The trousers he wore looked as though they could have come from the American West. His feet were long and bare on the tiles. His hair hung dark and thick almost to his shoulders and his eyes were a shade of blue-green that Tara had only ever seen in glacier melt. The man was strikingly beautiful, and yet somehow just looking at him gave Tara goose-bumps. The way Fiori chafed her arms told her that she wasn’t the only one feeling his presence that way.

‘I didn’t mean to startle anyone,’ the man said with Ferris’ easy voice.

‘But you are Ferris?’ Kennet asked.

‘I am. Yes. It’s just that Elaine isn’t comfortable with the flesh I now wear, and I find I can do more in this form than I’d, at first, thought myself capable of.’

‘And the flesh you normally wear? Where is it?’ Tara felt a tightening in her stomach.

‘It’s unharmed. On the bed in my room.’

castlerigg_Stone_Circle1With a shudder that was nearly a convulsion, Tara grabbed onto the counter top and braced herself as Lucia shoved her way lazily from the nebulous place inside Tara’s body where she took up residence. Everyone else stepped back as the demon pulled herself free. The coven had adjusted to Lucia’s comings and goings much better than Tara had. She still found it disconcerting when the demon decided to make a public appearance in such a physically demanding way. Sometimes when Lucia visited unannounced, Tara felt as though her breastbone were splitting. It always seemed worst when Lucia was miffed at her. Sadly, she could not return the favour when she was miffed at Lucia.

‘How long have you been absent from your flesh,’ the demon asked without a greeting to the coven members present, though she did give Cassandra a slight nod of her head as she entered the kitchen with Anderson, but then Cassandra was her daughter. Tara still couldn’t get her head around that fact. Mostly the demon focused her fiery gaze on Ferris.

‘Last night when Elaine and I made love. It distresses her to be reminded of her dead husband, so I shed his flesh.’

Tara didn’t miss the blush that crawled up over the bruises on Elaine’s throat at the mention of making love with Ferris, and though the ghost grabbed possessively onto Ferris’s arm, it was clear she was nowhere near as comfortable with sex as everyone at Elemental Cottage was. ‘You want to tell us what’s going on,’ Tara addressed Lucia, but the demon ignored her and spoke again to Ferris.

‘You must return to your flesh then. It has been too long, and the flesh will perish without your presence.’

The sound that came from Elaine’s throat was that of a frightened kitten, but she held tight to Ferris’ arm.

‘How do you know this?’ Both Ferris and Tara asked at the same time.

‘I know because I led you to that flesh, Ferris, and I know because I know how one such as you exists and functions in the fleshly world of humans. This you would know too if you would but take back your memories.’

‘I … I can’t.’ Ferris said, stepping away from Elaine and glancing toward the door as though he wished to run.

‘I know that you wish to continue on as things have always been, dear Ferris,’ Lucia said, ‘but really, you must welcome back the rest of who you are or you will find the problems you cause for yourself and the rest of the coven do not bare thinking about.’

‘No,’ Ferris’ voice was strangely quiet for someone so large. ‘I don’t mean that I won’t, Lucia. I would never do anything to cause harm to Cassandra or to this coven, you know that. I consider these my family now. I mean that I seem to be no longer capable of taking back whoever it is that I was … whatever it is that I was before you sent me to watch over Cassandra.’

‘That’s not possible,’ the demon said, and the robe she wore suddenly danced like living flame. ‘I have given back what is yours, Ferris. You have only to take it.’

‘Though it’s true I don’t wish to take back what I’ve left in your keeping, I would never deny it if it were to cause harm to those I care about. I’m not lying to you when I say that I can’t. I don’t know why. But I can’t.’

‘Hold it, hold it.’ Tara stepped forward between Ferris and Lucia and felt the blistering heat of the demon, even though she knew it wasn’t real. ‘Just what exactly is Ferris that this is his true form and what’s upstairs belongs to someone who should have died, I’m assuming, a good long time ago when his wife killed him.’ She nodded to Elaine, who shifted from foot to foot, keeping her eyes to the floor.

Lucia still stood gazing toward Ferris as though she could see him even through Tara’s body. ‘It’s not for me to tell, Tara Stone. The pact that I have made with him was to keep his secrets even from himself until such time as I released him from my bond, and there are certain … safeguards within that pact that protect one demon’s secrets from the indiscretions of another.’

‘Pact between demons? What do you mean between demons, Lucia,’ Tim broke in. ‘Ferris is no demon. Is he?’ The room erupted in chaos with everyone speaking at once. In a sudden burst of light, Ferris disappeared, and a terrified Elaine would have disappeared too if Skye hadn’t taken her gently by the arm.

‘Where did he go? Dear goddess, where did he go?’ Elaine glanced around wildly and strained against Skye’s embrace. ‘What have you done to him? I don’t care if he is a demon. He would never hurt me. He would never hurt any of you.’

In a loud crack of thunder and another flash of light, the room became silent other than the fire-crackle flow and dance of Lucia’s robes. The demon had a flair for the dramatic, Tara thought sourly. When she was sure she had everyone’s attention, Lucia spoke quietly. ‘Ferris has only returned to the flesh that houses him. He has been away from it for too long. I am terribly sorry, Elaine, but he cannot remain in corporeal form without an anchor in the flesh, and at the moment it is much easier for him to continue on in your husband’s flesh that to find another host.’

Tim made a sound like an angry bear and Lucia shot him a withering gaze. ‘I would not be so arrogant if I were you, Tim Meriwether. The fragility of your flesh is stunning. Even in those of you who enflesh ghosts and are so long-lived, your lifespan is but a heartbeat to one such as myself, to one such as Ferris. And even with such a lifespan, your flesh is delicate, easily broken, easily destroyed.’

‘Then I am a demon.’ Everyone turned to find Ferris standing once again in the unassuming body they had all grown used to seeing him in and, in spite of the flesh he now wore, Elaine moved to stand by him and took his hand.

Lucia studied him for a moment before she spoke. ‘Not a demon as such. Not in the way I am or Deacon was.’

‘Well is he or isn’t he?’ Tim asked.

‘The pact that I’ve made with Ferris will allow me to say no more,’ Lucia replied, not taking offence at Tim’s usual short temper. It is for Ferris to share his secrets, now that they are in his possession. Even if I wanted to, I now could not.’

‘I wasn’t lying when I said I can’t remember,’ Ferris said.

‘Then you are a danger to yourself and to the coven –’ Lucia replied without emotion ‘—I am not only unable to share your secrets with them, but I cannot give you again what I’ve already given. The magic of the bond and your service to me makes such a thing impossible.’

All colour slid from his face and he fisted his hands. ‘All right then. I’ll leave. I’ll return to Storm Croft, if that’s okay with Cassandra?’

Before Cassandra could respond, Lucia spoke again. ‘Do you not have people working for you at Storm Croft? And is there not a village near-by with several thousand souls in it? You cannot guarantee their safety from what will most certainly happen if you do not recover yourself, Ferris.’

‘He’s not going anywhere.’ Tara stepped forward and laid a hand on his arm, and Cassandra did the same. ‘He’s coven family. He stays here and you tell us what we can do to help him regain his memories and return to himself.’

Lucia’s robes flared until the flame of them nearly filled the room, then settled back around her benignly. ‘I cannot tell you what to do, Tara Stone, because I don’t know. If that is the journey you insist upon, and if you insist upon keeping him here, then I will do what I can to help, but the way back to himself is now a way he must find on his own.’ She raised a hand before Cassandra could speak. ‘Perhaps there are certain spells we can cast, magic we can use to aid him, but in the end, it will be up to Ferris to restore himself. And that is what he must do.’

‘Wait a minute,’ Tim said. ‘You released him from your bond, what if you renewed that bond? What if you made the same arrangement with Ferris that you had before?’

‘I cannot, Tim Meriwether. The bond that is broken is broken, and it was only ever made in the first place because there was a need for it and both parties agreed to it.’

‘Both demons,’ Ferris said.

‘That was how the pact was made, yes.’ Lucia said.

‘If I am able to remember who I was, what I was, will I be as I was before?’

Lucia moved to stand close to Ferris and laid a hand on his cheek. ‘You fear that, don’t you, Ferris? You fear what you cannot remember, but what you conjure to be so in your imagination. Oh how you borrow trouble.’

‘It can’t have been good,’ he whispered, ‘or you wouldn’t have seen fit to take it from me.’

‘If you survive what is to come and manage to do so without killing someone, then your past will be yours to bear, as is the case for all of us. However you will not be as you were before because who you have been since I brought Cassandra to you, who you have been since you have come the this coven has shaped you.’ She shrugged, her robe swayed and crackled slightly and she stepped back. ‘Whether all of these years have done more than added a simple patina to you long existence, I cannot tell. Only you can.’

‘I won’t hear any more of this,’ Cassandra said. ‘Ferris stays with us.’ Then she shot Tara an apologetic glance. ‘Or I go with him, wherever he goes. For a long time he was the only family I had.’

Anderson slid an arm around her and Tara nodded. ‘No one is going anywhere, Cassandra. We’ll do what we need to for Ferris. Lucia –’ she turned her attention to the demon ‘—What can we expect?’

‘There will be more irrational behaviour. Ferris will have less and less memory of that irrational behaviour when it happens.’

‘Will I be –’

‘Will you be violent?’ Lucia finished for him. ‘Not in the usual sense of violence.’

‘What the hell does that mean,’ Tim said.

‘There will be delusions,’ Lucia held Ferris’s gaze. ‘Hallucinations, and they will increase the longer Ferris is not himself.’

‘And?’ Ferris asked. The man looked as calm and unassuming as he always did.

Lucia took a deep breath, which she did not need and bit her lip, her eyes still locked on his. ‘And if you’re still unable to return to yourself, those hallucinations, those delusions will spread.’

‘What do you mean spread?’ Tara said.

Lucia turned to face her, then moved so close to her that the two were practically nose to nose, and the hem of her gown looked as though it engulfed Tara in flame from her hips down. ‘I mean that if Ferris does not return to himself soon, his hallucinations will effect all of you. Everyone in the coven will see what he sees, will experience what he experiences, and it will be as real to them as it is to him.’

‘Fuck!’ Tim whispered.

‘Some will be more effected than others,’ Lucia continued. ‘And not everyone will be effected all the time. I can give you no rhyme nor reason to who or how, nor can I tell you a timetable, only that it will be soon. Ferris has been too long outside the bond. His ability to separate from his host is proof of that.’

The room was deadly silent. Outside on the buddleia a black bird trilled. The clock in the parlour struck seven.

‘Then I have to go,’ Ferris said, his voice sounding no different than it always did. ‘I have to go somewhere isolated where I can harm no one. Or surely there must be someplace magical? What about the Ether?’ he asked.

‘That is a possibility my dear man,’ Anderson said. ‘But I would prefer it only as a last resort.’ He looked at Lucia, who nodded confirmation.

‘I cannot say what can be done, nor can I say how the coven may help,’ Lucia said. ‘I can only say that I offer any help I can give, and that Ferris must be willing to open himself.’

‘It doesn’t matter,’ Tara said again. ‘He’s one of our own, and we’ll not abandon him. We’ll find a way.’ During the conversation, Tara observed that Elaine had moved close and closer to Ferris until she held him around the waist in a tight embrace, her head resting on his shoulder. ‘Lucia, you’ll tell us all you can?’

‘Yes of course,’ the demon said.

‘And you’re immune to the hallucinations,’ Kennet asked.

‘Of course.’

Kennet hitched his towel around his waist and nodded. ‘That’s good to know in case things get rough.’

‘I can’t let you do this?’ Ferris said to Tara. Elaine whimpered at his side and tightened her embrace.

‘You have no choice,’ Tara replied. ‘You’re one of our own.’ There was a general murmur of consensus.
‘Besides, you heard Lucia; there’s no place you can go on this plane that’s isolated enough for safety. I Pic from ETO winBqxJnN_CEAIXatU.jpg-largementioned dream magic last night, and I think that would be a good place to begin.’ Lucia nodded her agreement, then without warning, stepped back inside Tara’s body, this time causing no more than a shiver up her spine.

‘We’re not doing anything on an empty stomach –’ Fiori said, picking up the spatula from the counter and straightening her shoulders. ‘The eggs have just been delivered from Jenkins farm. I was just about to make omelettes. Coffee’s brewed and the kettle’s on. Help yourself to fresh strawberries.




The 7th Instalment of Demon Interrupted: A Lakeland Witches Story

Lakeland Witches 1 BTRJust in time to showcase the new covers of the Lakeland Witches Trilogy, I’m very happy to offer the seventh 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 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. Here are the links to the previous episodes in case you missed them:

Chapter 1 Demon Interrupted: Perchance to Dream.

Chapter 2 Demon Interrupted: A Chat with a Demon

Chapter 3 Demon Interrupted: Enter the Shadows

Chapter 4 Demon Interrupted: Dark Chrysalis

Chapter 5 Demon Interrupted: The Empty Spaces in Between

Chapter 6 Beneath the Weight of Shadow

Enjoy Chapter Seven, 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 RisingRiding the Ether and Elemental Fire. Enjoy! And do kookie the new covers! 

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Chapter 7 Demon Interrupted


Lakeland Witches 2 RTEBack at Elemental Cottage the coven ate Swedish pancakes, an experience that Elaine seemed to relish. Ferris took as much pleasure from her enjoyment as he did from Fiori’s wonderful cooking. When, after much cajoling and threatening, Lucia still hadn’t returned, Tara ordered an exhausted Ferris off to bed. Strange that he should be exhausted. He so seldom felt any physical distress, and the need for sleep was something he had long-forgotten.

He turned his attention back to the coven leader as she spoke. ‘There’s nothing you can do in the state you’re in, and you’ll be more helpful rested. Elaine, if you wish to remain corporeal and sleep, Fiori will show you to you room or if you would prefer or you can go with Ferris. There was no doubt as to the ghost’s wishes as she slid her arm through Ferris’s, a thing that he took far more pleasure in than he would have expected.

Tara nodded. ‘Very well then. The rest of us will do some research in the library and see what we can learn while we wait for the bloody demon to grace us with her company. Ferris,’ she said as he turned to go. ‘I wonder, is it that you really can’t dream or that you choose not to?’

‘I don’t know,’ he replied. ‘Until Lucia freed me of my responsibilities, I was unable to dream, and I had no need of sleep. Back then I could barely remember my day-to-day existence. And now, as far as I can tell, my dreams haven’t returned to me, though there have been … instances,’ he nodded to Fiori, who nodded back. ‘Instances when I wasn’t really sure if what I experienced was a dream or not.’

Tara studied him for a moment then bit her lip. ‘I would suggest that you make no attempt to enter the Dream World until we can either talk to Lucia or find more information in the library. It might be safer for you under the circumstances. Then, I’m thinking we may very well need to perform some dream magic.’

Lakeland Witches 3 EFShe didn’t have to tell him that he would be the central dreamer in said dream magic. He shivered at the thought and drew Elaine closer to him. Just before Deacon was destroyed, he had seen the result of nightmares in Elemental Cottage. He had seen how the demon had played on everyone’s fears through their nightmares. He was still seeing the after-effects months after Deacon was gone. And what lie in his dreamscape that was so horrible that Lucia had thought it wise to block him from the Dream World altogether, he was pretty sure he would prefer not to know.

‘Get some sleep, both of you,’ Tara said. ‘We’ll wake you if there’s anything urgent.’

Ferris took Elaine’s hand and led her through Elemental Cottage and up the oak staircase, then down the long hall that led into the annex where his suite overlooked the fells. Inside, he closed the door behind them. Then he moved to turn down the duvet of the four-poster bed, marvelling again at the luxury and comfort that he had revelled in since his arrival at Elemental Cottage. As he unbuttoned his shirt, she stood unmoving by the door, her sapphire eyes wide. Her chest rose and fell rapidly as though breathing had become difficult. One hand lay against her breasts while the other gripped into a tight fists at her side.

He stopped his efforts and moved to take her hand. She was trembling. ‘I’m sorry. I assumed that you wished to share more than my bed. Forgive me for being so presumptuous. I hadn’t though that perhaps you simply didn’t want to be alone.’

‘I’ve never been with anyone but Patrick, not in the way men and women are together.’ She lowered her eyes down to where his fingers curled around hers. ‘And being with him convinced me that I never wanted to be with a man. But being with you is different. You wear his flesh, but you’re not like him. I wanted to be bold. I wanted to come to you and let you have … me. But now here I stand terrified because it’s his body I see, and yet I feel all these things inside me, Ferris. I want … I want things … things I never wanted before.’ A blush began in the valley between her breasts and worked its way up over the bruises at her throat to tint her pale cheeks deep rose. She forced herself to meet his gaze. ‘You’re so much stronger than he was. I know you could hurt me, you could hurt me as he did only so much worse.’

‘But I won’t, Elaine.’ He pulled her into his embrace and stroked her soft dark hair, felt her arms reluctantly circle his waist. ‘I would never hurt you, and I would gladly give you all that you want. I would do all that’s in my power to convince you that the pleasures that lovers share are exquisite when shared in respect and kindness.’ He lifted her chin and brushed a kiss across her full lips. When she didn’t pull away, he kissed her again, feeling his penis respond to the press of her in his arms. His hand slid between them to cup her breast, brushing a thumb across her nipple. Her eyelids fluttered and she inhaled the breath she didn’t need. ‘You never let me return the favour for what you did for me last night.’ He moved a thigh so that it pressed against the juncture between her legs. Her knees went weak and she trembled. He shifted to support her weight then lifted her in his arms and carried her to his bed.

Carefully he removed the delicate slippers from her feet then caressed his way up the inside of her ankle, then her calf, nudging her knees apart, kissing the inside of each. She squirmed beneath him, shoving at him. ‘No. Please don’t.’ Her hands rested on the top of his head in an effort to push him away. ‘You shouldn’t.’ She struggled for words. ‘If you want to … mount me, then I’m ready, but … down there is so …’

‘So intimate, yes I know, and so exquisitely beautiful.’ Before she could protest further he snaked his hand up to press against her bare pussy, and she bucked and inhaled a sharp breath. ‘Down there is the source of more power and magic than you can possibly imagine, my darling. Trust me, you have no idea how much it’ll delight me to touch you there, to kiss you there, to taste you there. And –’ he eased two fingers up to part her labia causing her to writhe beneath his touch ‘—you’re not yet ready for me.’ With a thumb, he gave the swell of her clitoris a gentle stroke and her hand fell away from his head and curled in the duvet as she arched her back against his touch. ‘There, you see,’ he sighed. ‘I promise by the time you are ready for my cock, you’re body will know it and want it and beg for it in ways that will delight you.’

Her response was little more than a whimper, but he could see that her hand curled in the duvet was a tight, white knuckled fist. He would ease her fears. He would show her how it should be. ‘Don’t be afraid, Elaine. Just let me make you feel good, just take your pleasure from me.’ When the grip of her fingers loosened slightly as her wetness grew from his stroking, he gently scrunched up the skirt of her gown. ‘I want to see you, Elaine. I want to look at the place that pleasured me so deliciously, the place that will offer you so much pleasure. Don’t be frightened, just let me look at you, let me touch you there where you need to be touched.’

She offered a little sob and her legs fell open giving him a view of the soft dark curls of her mound and the thickening moist folds of her pussy, splayed for his fingers, gripping and tensing against his scissoring and thrusting. While she watched, he pulled his slippery fingers from her warm depths, brought them to his lips and tasted them, and she blushed and turned her head into the pillow.

‘Don’t be shy, dear Elaine, don’t be shy about the response of your lovely body to what it knows it wants, what I’ll give it in good time. The more brazen and demanding you are, the more I’ll desire to push up inside of you.’ He uncurled her fingers from the duvet and guided them to rest against the aching bulge he had not yet released from his trousers. ‘I want to be inside you, Elaine. I want you to ride me and own me and take my cock as your slave.’ He gave her only a moment to contemplate before he buried his face against her splayed pussy and raked the flat of his tongue from her perineum all the way up the slit of her to end in a tightened suck of his lips against her hardened clitoris. The beginning of her protest died in her throat and was reborn as a deep catlike growl. This time when her fingers curled in his hair it was to hold him to her as he suckled and kissed and licked.

As she bucked and writhed beneath him, he nipped her clit and pulled back just slightly so that his breath blew across her apex. ‘What do you want, Elaine? Tell me what you want from me. Demand it of me, use me.’

‘I want … I want …’ She shivered and curled her fingers tighter in his hair as though she would drag him all the way up her body in such a grip.

‘Tell me,’ he gasped. ‘Tell me what you want and I’ll give it to you.’

‘I want … I want … I want you inside me.’ She groaned.

With his face still buried between her legs, he undid his fly and hissed between his teeth as he released his distended cock. Then he withdrew, wiping his wet face on the sleeve of his shirt as he slid up her body. When he could look down into the depths of her bright eyes, he cupped her bare bottom and shifted and maneuvered her so that she was open and ready. Then he lifted her legs around his waste, rose onto his knees and positioned himself. ‘I’m going to make love to you now, Elaine, and it’ll be good, so good.’ His words were lost in a thrust and a groan of pleasure that was near pain as he pushed inside her, feeling her tightness clenching anxiously at his cock as he slid home, and to his surprise, it felt very much like home.

With trembling hands, she shoved his open shirt off his shoulders and scored his back with her nails. ‘Ferris,’ she growled against his ear. ‘Dear god, Ferris. You’re nothing like him. Nothing like him at all.’

Demon Interrupted Image by KevAnd this time he felt it happen as he had not felt it before. This time he knew when the whole of him rose from the body he possessed, shoving it aside as though it were nothing more important than his discarded shirt. Beneath him he heard her little yelp of surprise, saw in the dilated pupils of her sapphire eyes a tiny flash of fear that burned bright, then passed with a growl of desire. ‘It’s you,’ she gasped. ‘It’s you I want. It’s you I need to fill me.’ She wrapped her legs tighter around his hips, hips that were suddenly more muscled, and she ran her hands over his back that was now broader and longer. She thrust up to meet him powerful, hungry, much stronger than the frightened woman he had met only yesterday. ‘You fill me, Ferris, as I’ve never been filled. You fill me the way I need to be filled.’
Together they came in wrenching, shattering convulsions – Ferris, who had come more times than he could count since his arrival at Elemental Cottage, and this woman, this beautiful ghost, who had never known the pleasure of orgasm until now. As they trembled against each other, the flesh that had been the only flesh he had known for as long as he had memory lay next to them as though it only slept waiting for his return.

When they caught their breath, he could tell that it disturbed her, the body on the bed next to them, the flesh that had somehow housed the monster that was her husband before it housed him. ‘No harm has come to it,’ he said, kissing her ear. ‘It only awaits my return.’

She buried her face in his shoulder and shivered. ‘I would wish it harm.’ Her voice was a thick, angry rasp. ‘I would wish it a thousand deaths. I would wish it suffering that never ends. I would wish it anguish beyond anguish, I would wish all that and more but that it has been redeemed by you.’ She clenched Ferris to her and studied the inanimate flesh of her husband.

‘If its presence disturbs you, I’ll take you to the room that Tara has assigned to you, and we’ll leave it here until I again have need of it.’

‘Can you do that?’ She whispered.

‘Yes. Yes I can.’ Strange he had never realised before that he could leave the flesh he wore, but he was now as certain of it as he was of the fact that the body now sleeping next to them was nothing more an a means to an end. It was a temporary home for him, and he had had lots of temporary homes in his long existence. He stood and lifted her into his arms. ‘We shall leave the flesh here, then, until I have need of it again.’ He nuzzled her neck. ‘But my need at this moment is a different kind of need, a very powerful need, Elaine, and I feel that your need is no less so. Shall we adjourn to your room then?’

castlerigg_Stone_Circle1Once he had eased her down onto the bed in the room that had been assigned to her, he removed what remained of their clothing and buried his cock once again in her depths. He thought for the tiniest of moments how strange it was — the situation in which he found himself. That he possessed Farringdon’s body was abundantly clear. That he had possessed other flesh in the past was equally clear. As he felt Elaine’s delicious tightness around his erection, he rolled and settled her atop him so that he could enjoy the dance and sway of her breasts, so that he could fondle and caress and pleasure them. As he cupped her fullness he couldn’t keep from wondering if he could take solid form, and indeed a much more desirable form than that Farringdon provided, why did he need Farringdon’s weak flesh at all?









The 6th Instalment of Demon Interrupted: A Lakeland Witches Story

Demon Interrupted Image by KevI’m very happy to offer the sixth 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. Here are the links to the previous episodes in case you missed them:


Chapter 1 Demon Interrupted: Perchance to Dream.

Chapter 2 Demon Interrupted: A Chat with a Demon

Chapter 3 Demon Interrupted: Enter the Shadows

Chapter 4 Demon Interrupted: Dark Chrysalis

Chapter 5 Demon Interrupted: The Empty Spaces in Between

Enjoy Chapter Six, 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 RisingRiding the Ether and Elemental Fire. Enjoy!

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Chapter 6 Demon Interrupted

Beneath the Weight of Shadow

‘I will go after the shadow and the ghost.’ Anderson helped Cassandra to her feet and moved to cut a door in the circle.

‘Not by yourself,’ Tara ordered. ‘We don’t know what this thing is. And Cassandra, you stay here,’ she called as the succubus joined him. ‘We need someone non-corporeal. Take Fiori.’

Anderson nodded his agreement, paused only long enough to brush a quick kiss across Cassandra’s lips then he and Fiori vanished from the circle.

‘Lucia? What’s going on,’ Tara called out as she scrambled to where Cassandra already knelt next to Ferris with his head in her lap.

‘He’s freezing, Cassandra said, pulling his robe over him and then reaching for a blanket at the foot of the sleeping pallet. She looked up at the coven leader as the others gathered around. ‘He’s not responding at all.’

‘Is he in the Ether,’ Tim asked. ‘Is that possible?’

The succubus shook her head. ‘He has no skills in the Ether, and no ability to go there unconsciously that I know of.’

Skye, who was trained in healing arts and had some skills in first aid, moved to his side and laid her fingers against his throat. ‘His pulse is faint, thready. Whatever that was –’ she nodded toward the cave entrance ‘– it came from inside him. Almost like it belonged there.’

‘Or like it didn’t,’ Tim said.

‘Goddamn it, Lucia, I need you,’ Tara yelled into the empty air, ‘Where’s the damned demon when you want her?’

‘She’s not known for being cooperative,’ Kennet said. He took a bottle of water from one of the rucksacks and handed it to Alice, who hunched trembling in the corner. ‘What happened?’ He sat next to her and pulled a Mackenzie tartan around her shoulders.

‘At first, I thought it was just a shadow,’ Alice said. She took a sip of water and wiped her eyes with a hand that was still none too steady. ‘It was like all of a sudden Ferris got … bigger … all over, and I don’t know why I didn’t think about it. I don’t know why it didn’t seem strange. It was so intense, so solid, nothing at all like shadow. And then when I … when I came, I knew. I could tell that whatever it was, it had taken with it Ferris’s essence.’ She shivered. ‘I’m sorry I panicked.’

‘You have nothing to be sorry for,’ Kennet said. ‘You had good cause.’

‘Cassandra, do you know anything about this? Has anything like this ever happened before,’ Tara asked. ‘You’ve known Ferris most of your life.’

She shook her head. ‘I knew Ferris possessed some magic, but honestly, until we came here, I’d never seen him use any of it. He was always there, but until we came here, I never really noticed him. Until we came here, he was … I don’t know. He was always there when I needed him, but it was almost like he didn’t exist the rest of the time.’

‘Lucia!’ Tara shouted again. ‘Where the hell are you?’ She turned her attention to her man. ‘What is it, Kennet? What’s wrong? I can see it on your face.’

‘Well –’ he moved away from Alice and laid a hand against Ferris’s chest ‘—the way that shadow left him, it reminds me of when Lucia possessed me, the way she left my body, at least when I was aware of her leaving.’

‘But you never lost consciousness when she left you, did you?’ Tara asked. ‘ I never have. Sometimes I don’t even feel it when she leaves, though I usually feel it when she comes back home.’

‘And speaking of the devil,’ Tim said. ‘It’s not like Lucia to stay away when she’s called. She never likes to miss a good party. How long can she be away from you, Tara, before … you know?’

‘Before I die again? I don’t think there’s a sell-by date, Tim. There’s some kind of connection inside whether she’s with me or not. I feel her absence, but not in quite the same way Kennet did, and certainly she never rendered me unconscious when she left, though I reckon she could if she were inclined.’

‘Wait a minute –’ Marie said, ‘– If you’re saying that Ferris is possessed by some kind of demon, we could have just sent Anderson and Fiori into danger.’

Just then Ferris’s body jerked hard, his back arched, and he began to convulse.


It was good that the moon was full. It made following the shadow and the ghost much easier. Anderson felt no threat from either of them. He did not know what the shadow was, though it certainly seemed to him that the thing might have been in possession of Ferris’s body. Because there was much they did not understand of the situation, he preferred as many of the odds in his favour as possible.

‘The shadow –’ Fiori’s disembodied voice filled Anderson’s ear, or what would have been his ear had he had form other than that of thought and will ‘– he was with Ferris the last time he made love to me.’

Anderson glanced at her and continued following the disturbance in the air through which the strange couple had passed. ‘Did you speak to Ferris of this?’

‘At the time I thought I only imagined it. I was groggy from a bad dream and he comforted me. I didn’t feel threatened. It felt only as though Ferris were suddenly a much larger man, different, but still Ferris. I felt full of him, full of his presence. The space around me felt full of his presence. I don’t know, we all have secrets, and none of us really knows Ferris that well.’

‘My dear Fiori, even Cassandra does not know Ferris well, and though it seems that Lucia has released him of his responsibilities to her, he does not wish to know his past. I think that rather odd. It seems to me …’ Anderson’s words died in the throat he did not at this moment have, and he halted their progress with nothing more than an act of will. At the edge of the tarn that glowed silver-black in the moonlight, the strange ghost with the noose around her neck threw herself into the arms of the shadow.

‘I found you. Thank goddess I found you. Oh Ferris, I was so worried. I thought I’d done something wrong. I thought that when you learned what … what I’d done, you were angry and you left.’

‘I didn’t leave you. I swear I didn’t.’ The shadow spoke in a voice that was quite recognisable as Ferris’s. With careful hands, he removed the noose from around her neck and gave it an angry toss. Anderson could see the angry ligature marks on the woman’s delicate throat, and the curse that Fiori uttered told him so did she. ‘I don’t know what happened,’ the shadow said, ‘but I promise I didn’t leave you intentionally.’

‘Ferris?’ Anderson spoke softly, not wanting to startle the couple, and eased himself into a form that was fully visible, but had no substance. He was not yet certain if, indeed, the dark entity was Ferris. But the shadow turned to face him, and he could see the likeness of a man broad of shoulder and clearly several inches taller that Anderson, who was, by no means, a small man.

The shadow, who still held the woman in his arms looked up at Anderson and nodded. ‘I’m sorry.’ His voice was soft, unobtrusive, as Ferris’s voice always was. ‘I don’t know what happened.’

Anderson took a cautious step forward and Fiori followed, her eyes locked on the woman. ‘You are aware that you have left your flesh unattended in the dream cave?’ Anderson asked.

‘So it would appear.’ Ferris looked down at the large hand that was not resting on the woman’s shoulder and released a long breath of which Anderson was fairly certain he had no need in his present form. ‘I … don’t know what happened,’ he repeated. Then he glanced from Anderson to Fiori and back again. ‘Lucia? Is she in the cave?’

‘She was not present when we left,’ Anderson said, ‘But it must be said that we did not linger to take attendance.’

‘Perhaps you might introduce us to your friend.’ Fiori took another step forward, her eyes on the ghost.

‘This is Elaine.’ Ferris did not loosen his hold on her. ‘Elaine these are my friends from the Elemental Coven, Fiori and Anderson.’

‘They’re both … dead,’ the woman said, catching her breath as though the realisation shocked her.

‘As are you, my dear woman,’ Anderson replied. ‘However, Ferris is not, and I cannot think it is healthy for his flesh to have him too long absent from it, so I would humbly request that we all return to the cave as quickly as we may.’ Almost before he finished speaking, the two vanished, and he and Fiori followed suit.


Another image from KevAlice let out a little squeal and crab-walked backward as the shadow-man, who had left Ferris’s body in such a hurry, materialised in the cave with the ghost of a young woman in his arms. Instantly Ferris’s physical body calmed on the floor of the cave.

‘What the fuck?’ Tim said, glancing from the couple to Ferris on the floor and back again. Then Anderson and Fiori materialised next to them.

‘This is Elaine. I am told she is a friend of Ferris’s.’ Anderson spoke as calmly as if he were making introductions at a dinner party. For an instant no one in the cave moved. All eyes were on the couple. Skye still knelt next to Ferris’s body with her hand resting against his throat and Tara and Cassandra knelt next to her. Tim and Marie and Kennet sat near Alice.

With a sharp catch of his breath, the shadow-man, who seemed much more man than shadow now, eased forward and stared down at the flesh that had only recently housed him. He did nothing but stare. The ghost, Elaine, did the same. But hers was a more fearful countenance, and Anderson thought it strange that she held no such fear for the shadow-man as she did for the unpretentious fleshly man now unconscious on the floor of the cave.

‘There’s still no sign of Lucia.’ Marie spoke to Anderson and Fiori.

Kennet growled. ‘Not much nightlife in Keswick on a Wednesday night. I suppose she could have gone to Penrith … or Birmingham.’ He shrugged. ‘Hell she could have gone to Bangkok for all I know.’

‘I’ve never heard of a demon clubbing,’ Marie said. ‘I can’t think it would be much fun without a body.’

‘I don’t know what she gets up to when she’s not at home,’ Tara said. ‘She doesn’t tell me and I don’t ask, but damn it, I hate it when she ignores me, and I know that’s what she’s doing.’

‘I fear it’s me she’s ignoring,’ the shadow-man said. ‘And I can’t say that I long much for her company either, but under the circumstances, I suppose it would be good to know what’s going on.’ He didn’t sound very convinced of it.

‘Are you some kind of demon?’ Tim asked. A ripple of tension passed through the room. Tim had a reputation for being blunt and saying what was on his mind, but the shadow-man did not seem offended. Instead he stood contemplating the idea. And the shape of him was beautiful, Anderson thought, much more like a god than a man, fit to grace the temple of Apollo, fit to kindle the lust of any libido. And yet in the shadow there was no flesh.

‘I can’t truthfully say,’ he replied to Tim, ‘As far as I know, I’m Ferris Ryder, and that –’ he nodded to the body on the ground ‘—is also Ferris Ryder, though I have no idea how that can be. I think that perhaps Elaine –’

Tara raised a hand to silence him. Carefully she came to her feet and moved toward Elaine, who stood just barely inside the entrance of the cave now and seemed to be inching slowly in that direction as the conversation unfolded. ‘Elaine –’ Tara’s voice was only slightly more than a whisper ‘—how is it that you suddenly wear the flesh?’

Instantly all eyes were on the woman, and there was a collective intake of breath, for she was, indeed, in the flesh. A fact that surprised even her.

‘Is it because of you?’ Tara looked up at the Shadow-man, who shook his head.

‘Apparently I can choose to be … corporeal if I want,’ Elaine replied. ‘Though in all honesty, I have no memory of even being a ghost until I met Ferris, who was wearing the flesh of Patrick last night.

‘Who the hell is Patrick,’ Tim asked.

‘He is Patrick,’ she nodded to Ferris’s body. ‘And how he now lives but is not Patrick, I do not know. I killed him myself. Of that I’m certain.’

A harsh choking sound drown out the coven’s murmured response to Elaine’s confession, and all eyes were once again on Ferris’ body, which went rigid, then gasped a desperate breath, and it was as though by doing so, he rendered the shadow-man little more than a wisp of dark smoke, which swirled in the air, then vanished into Ferris’s corporeal chest.

Elaine let out a little cry and her knees gave just as Anderson caught her against his chest.

On the cave floor, Ferris spasmed twice then sat up and looked around the chamber. Cassandra knelt next to him and handed him a bottle of water. He drank deeply and coughed.

For a long moment the only sound in the cave was his effort to catch his breath.

‘Ferris?’ Skye said, at last. ‘Are you back with us?’

He nodded, then his gaze settled on Elaine and held, but he did not speak. He only stared at the ghost in the flesh.

When the silence had stretched beyond the point of uncomfortable, Tara laid a hand on Ferris’s forearm and spoke, ‘How much of what just happened do you remember?’

castlerigg_Stone_Circle1He started to speak, then cleared his throat as though his voice had rusted from disuse. ‘Everything. I remember everything.’ With ease that belied what he had just endured, he stood, holding the blanket to him to fight off the residual chill from his unconscious state, and moved slowly toward Elaine, reaching out his hand.

When she cautiously moved to his side, he spoke, still not taking his eyes off her. ‘At least I remember everything since my arrival in Cumbria a few hours ago.’ He looked back at Tara. ‘Before that …’

‘Before that what,’ Tara prompted.

He released a slow breath that echoed in the chamber like a wind. ‘Before that there are … blank spots.’








© 2018 K D Grace
The Romance Reviews

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