I’m very happy to offer the fifth 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:
Enjoy Chapter Five, 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 5 of Demon Interrupted
The Empty Spaces in Between
‘How the hell did I get here?’ It took Ferris a few seconds to realise that there was no one else in the SUV and that it was he who had spoken. He was no longer in his study at Storm Croft, He was no longer in Surrey at all, nor was Elaine with him. He was on the A 66 following a farm tractor, along with a half a dozen other vehicles, crawling toward Keswick. The sun was just going down, and the saddle-backed behemoth of Blencathera loomed large to the right of him still catching the last rays of light on its western flank.
She had killed her husband. The last memory Ferris had before coming back to himself in Cumbria was Elaine revealing to him that she had killed her husband, that she had been hanged for that reason. Surely he had misunderstood her. Surely there were extenuating circumstances, but he’d had no time to ask or at least he had no memory of asking. There had been long stretches of time of which he had no memory during the years he served Lucia, watching out for Cassandra. In fact, on occasion, it almost felt as though he could choose to shut down, like a computer when it’s no longer being used. Back then the lapses in memory, the loss of time, hadn’t seemed strange at all to him, nor had they mattered. But now things had changed. His life had changed. He remembered every detail of the time he’d spent with the Elemental Coven, and he would have wanted to miss none of it. Now, the loss of such a significant stretch of time and, at such an inconvenient moment, was more than disturbing. Surely Lucia was responsible. The tractor turned off near Threlkeld and Ferris sped toward Elemental Cottage, anxious to get home, and truly, Elemental Cottage felt like his home now. He didn’t know whether he was desperate to talk to Lucia or desperate to avoid her.
‘You’re just in time for dinner,’ Fiori called from the kitchen, as he walked in the door. ‘Sea bass, at Anderson’s request, of course.’
‘Is Tara around?’ He said, not wanting to ask specifically for Lucia.
‘She and Kennet had some errands to run in Keswick,’ she replied. ‘They should be back soon.’
Anderson and Cassandra were just coming down the stairs. When Cassandra saw Ferris, she threw her arms around him and kissed him on the cheek, the buzz of her energy making him feel like he’d just drank a couple of strong pints. ‘You’re back. We were worried you wouldn’t make it in time. How was Storm Croft?’
‘Same as always,’ he said, brushing the hair away from her face and nodding his greeting to Anderson. ‘The grounds are lovely this time of year, keeping the gardeners busy.’
For the first time he could remember since he’d arrived at Elemental Cottage, he didn’t taste the meal, even though he knew it was delicious. Fiori’s sea bass was spoken about in hushed tones, and it was always a favourite for Full Moon dinner. The new potatoes and baby carrots with peas were fresh from Tara’s garden, but he didn’t taste them. Even the white chocolate cheesecake with fresh strawberries was wasted on him. Neither did he hear the brisk banter and laughter that was always the best part of a meal shared at Elemental Cottage. His mind was on his encounter with Elaine — if it really had been an encounter. And surely it had to have been because he didn’t dream. Yet it would have been easier if she had been only a visitation from his dreamscape.
Later as he unpacked his bag before he showered for the Full Moon Circle, he discovered among the socks and carefully folded black shirts several dusty tomes about demons and several more about the history of Storm Croft. He didn’t remember packing them. He didn’t even remember having them on the shelves in the library at the great house. Most of the relevant volumes, Cassandra had brought back to Elemental Cottage when she had made it her permanent residence. The books were all leather bound and, from the looks of them, quite fragile. He would have never transported such treasures so carelessly, and yet here they were. Very carefully, he placed them on the bureau and grabbed his robe.
He could hear the rest of the coven milling about downstairs. He’d had no chance to talk to Tara, since she and Kennet had had a flat tyre on the way back from Keswick and had made it in time to eat their portion of the feast in the kitchen after where Fiori had kept it warm for them. As he joined them for the walk to the Dream Cave, he realized he really didn’t know how to approach Lucia. She had always approached him. Demons usually did what they wanted and in their own time. Just because she now resided in Tara, didn’t mean she was always there, present and accounted for. She needed flesh no more than she needed to breathe, but after Deacon’s defeat and Tara’s horrible sacrifice, no one was completely sure that Tara could now live without Lucia’s possession of her. In truth, Ferris was at a loss. There was no knocking at Lucia’s door, and he would just as soon the rest of the coven knew nothing about what had happened at Storm Croft.
‘Guess we’re together tonight, since you don’t dream and I’m not all that good at magic.’ Alice fell into step next to him as they made their way to the cave. Normally Full Moon was celebrated under the open sky whenever possible. Ferris had no idea why Tara had decided to do the circle in the cave.
‘Your magic is far better that you give yourself credit for, Alice, and you can hardly compare yourself to a coven of witches who were raised to it.’ Ferris and Sky had been tutoring Alice on basic magic. She really was quite gifted. She had only recently made her first forays into the Ether with Cassandra. It had taken her some time to overcome her fear of the place after Deacon had dragged her there, along with Ferris, as his captives. She would, indeed, be a huge asset to the coven when a little more emotional healing had taken place and she was a little farther away from those nightmarish memories of what Deacon had done to her. He laced his fingers through hers. ‘We’ll offer support this time,’ he said, giving her hand an encouraging squeeze. ‘It’s a dirty job, but someone has to do it.’
She smiled up at him. ‘It’s a safe job. Not so important to you, maybe, but then you’re not nearly as neurotic as I am.’
She had no idea, he thought.
When everyone was gathered and all of the candles were lit around the perimeter of the cave, Tim spoke up. ‘Why are we in here doing dream magic on a gorgeous night like this? I would have thought we’d gather down at the tarn.’
Tara, who had been speaking softly to Anderson, her second in command, looked around at her coven. ‘We’re here tonight because of a dream that Kennet and I had together. We, all of us, have suffered from what Deacon has done to us, and though there’s been a lot of healing, a lot of rebuilding those bonds that make us a family, we all know how much we’ve lost and how far we have to go.’ She turned to Fiori. ‘I know you’re still having nightmares, Fiori, and I know there are several others among us, maybe even all of us who are either suffering from nightmares or well … basically post traumatic stress.’
She looked right at Ferris, and he felt heat crawl up his neck and over his cheeks. Living in the cotton wool present that Lucia had created for him, he had never suffered from anything for very long. But things were different now. For all of them.
The High Priestess continued. ‘Our most intimate act, even more so than the sexual bond we all share, is the act of sleeping and dreaming together, is the act of allowing each other to walk our dreamscapes. In that there’s bonding. In that there’s healing.’
‘In that there’s embarrassment and humiliation,’ Tim groused.
Everyone chuckled uncomfortably. Tim was right, but so was Tara. She offered him an unimpressed look. ‘Nevertheless, Mr Meriwether, we will dream together.’
‘There are Swedish pancakes for afterwards,’ Fiori offered with a cheery smile.
‘Well that’s at least something,’ Tim said.
Tara glared at him. ‘I’ll feed your share to the dog if you don’t watch your mouth, Meriwether.’
‘We don’t have a dog.’
‘Harry Gibbons up the road does. Nice big collie. Loves Fiori’s cooking.’
Once the circle was cast, Ferris took Alice’s hand and pulled her down onto one of the sleeping pallets that ringed the cushions on which the main dreamers would dream. For maximum magic, tonight that couple was Tara and Kennet. They were the most powerful dreamers. But the coven was strong in dream magic. Tim and Marie, and Cassandra and Anderson also excelled in it. Ferris knew that was a good thing, and yet he always dreaded it, especially after his recent encounter with Lucia and what had happened to him at Storm Croft. But dream magic was sex magic, as was all of the magic the Elemental Coven practiced, so when Alice shrugged out of her robe and reached for him, he was fully erect and completely focused on bringing her to the brink of orgasm and keeping her there as long as possible. This, he could do, and this would keep his mind from wandering where it shouldn’t.
He was intimately familiar with Alice’s body, as he was with all of the Elemental Coven. Alice was a keen fell walker and he loved the feel of her hard muscles under soft feminine curves beneath his hands, beneath his lips, beneath his body. He loved the feel of her biceps as her arms encircled him. He loved the tensing of her pectoral muscles when his hands and his mouth found their way to her high, firm breasts with their nipples peeking candy floss pink at the flick of his tongue and the purse of his lips. The swell of them fit the cup of his hand and together formed a tight cradle for his erection to tunnel through as her tongue flicked over the anxious advance and retreat of the head of his cock.
He loved the way her stomach tightened and ridged in anticipation as he kissed down the slope of it, lingering to tongue her navel before descending to briefly rest his cheek against the softness of her pubic curls. Her strong fingers always fisted in his hair in a nearly painful grip as he shouldered open her strong thighs and continued his descent to kiss the Keystone, always distended and pressed in anticipation from beneath its hood. Then, to the soundtrack of sex all around him, he buried his face in the swelling depths of her, seashore-scented and wet.
As the magic built all around them with each thrust, each caress, each kiss, she groaned low and throaty and lifted her feet onto his shoulders, giving him better access, along with a view all the way back to the gripping clench of her anus, giving herself the leverage to bear down. He lapped the honey and salt taste of her with long strokes of his tongue and sucked and tugged at her inner folds as if he were starved for the feast she offered. She bucked and writhed against his mouth as though she were riding a horse in need of taming. He stroked and suckled and licked her open, relishing her mother of pearl arousal, sticky and warm on his fingers, feeling his own arousal surge and press outward above the achy weight of his full sac.
‘I need you inside me,’ she whispered, a whisper he felt more than heard. ‘I need you inside me, Ferris.’ He pulled away wiping his wet face against the back of his arm. As he rose above her to position himself, holding his cock in one hand and spreading her folds with the other, something flashed dark in his peripheral vision. It all happened so fast. He blinked, and as he thrust into Alice’s depths, the afterimage of Elaine danced across his eyelids. Distracted, he scanned the perimeter, but there was nothing. Alice lifted her legs and wrapped them around his waist thrusting up to meet him, and his full attention returned to the magic, to her pussy’s gripping, slippery caress of his cock.
And Goddess, his cock felt big! It felt big enough to fill the cave, and the ache in his balls felt molten hot and heavy. As Alice’s grip around his waist tightened and the tension rippled up her spin, up his, and as they reached the point at which he intended to hold her, the high plateau of arousal that would weave their own thread of magic into that of the rest of the coven, he marvelled at how tiny she seemed beneath him, how delicate she was in his embrace. He marvelled that he didn’t tear her apart with his need, with the violence of his thrusting. He marvelled that she cried out as she did, that her need matched his.
It wasn’t supposed to happen. It shouldn’t have happened. They had played their part in dream magic often enough to know how to control it, and yet he felt the clench of her orgasm grip his cock, he felt her heals kick against his spine, and he lost control. He lost control and emptied himself into her, coming in wrenching waves, growling like a wild animal, and he came as though he would turn himself inside out.
It was only in the last throes of his release that he realised her legs were no longer around him, her palms were hard at his chest shoving him, and the sound of her arousal was drown out by the sounds of fear. Over the buzz in his head he heard her breathless cries, ‘Get away from me! Get away from me! Where’s Ferris? What have you done to Ferris.’
It was as he moved to calm her, still struggling to figure out what had just happened, that he saw Elaine just beyond the periphery of the circle and, before he could stop himself, he shoved to his feet and ran toward her, feeling the protective magic of the circle as though it flayed him of all skin when he forced his way through without cutting a door. ‘Elaine!’ He called out. ‘Elaine, don’t go!’
‘What the fuck?’ Tim cried out. Someone else called Ferris’ name. Behind him he heard the shouts of the coven as the circle erupted in chaos, but his eyes were locked on the ghost fleeing toward the fells. It was only then that he realised he’d left his body behind in the circle on the cave floor.