Read Come As You Are Online

Authors: Melinda Barron

Tags: #Erotic Paranormal Romance

Come As You Are (7 page)

BOOK: Come As You Are
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“With pleasure.” He bent back to his task, sucking each nipple in turn. Tempest closed her eyes and relaxed into the mattress. His lips moved over her stomach and for the first time ever she didn’t worry about the fact that she was a larger woman. The comfort she felt with Franco was something she’d never experienced before and she never wanted it to end.

His hands were on her panties now, gently tugging them down. She lifted her hips and he moved them to her knees, spreading her thighs just enough to place a kiss on her neatly trimmed mons.

“Oh, my.” Further words escaped her as he kissed her slit, starting at the top and moving down. Her body pulsed with energy and her spirit soared as he slowly explored her, opening her slit and tracing his tongue over the soft, wet flesh just below.

She wiggled and squirmed and when his tongue found her clit, and when he flicked the tip over it, she came, her hips shooting off the bed, his order to stay still forgotten. Her legs wouldn’t move very far, encased in her silken panties as they were, and she tried to fight them until he lightly pinched her bottom. She settled down and buried her hands in his hair, a second orgasm spiraling through her as his tongue and teeth taunted her clit, with him applying pressure before letting off and then applying it again.

When he finally sucked the hard nub into his mouth, then released it with a kiss before setting back on his knees, Tempest wondered if she would ever be able to walk again. Her legs felt like jelly. Her body quivered with the desire to have him inside her.

“Not now,” he whispered. “Go to sleep, my Tempest. We’ll unleash another storm later, after we’ve met with our friends. Just sleep now.”

She closed her eyes and followed his directions, fighting the urge to stay awake and count the seconds until the promised storm would arrive.

Chapter Nine

 
 

 

 

Someone’s talking to Candice

And the little bitch is answering them

I need to go to her, remind her that she belongs to me

After all, she stayed here with me even though she is dead

She is worthless, but she provides a little fun

How dare she disobey me?

She needs punishment

And she’ll get it

Later

When I have some strength again

You’ll get yours, and then I’ll get my Tempest back

Soon

Very soon

* * * *

“Weren’t we just here last night?” Fletch held the chair out for Tempest as she approached the table. “I think when Franco arrives we need to see about getting a discount for being repeat customers.”

Laughter came from everyone sitting around the table and Tempest counted people. Everyone who was here last night had returned, and sitting with them was a dark-haired woman in her mid-thirties whom Quinn introduced as Pebbles Malloy.

Tempest shook the woman’s hand, then looked around the table. “Where’s Franco?”

“Not sure,” Dev said, taking a drink of his beer. “He called me earlier and said he had to take care of something and he’d be here in time for dinner.”

The server set a mint julep in front of Tempest and she smiled to herself. Someone had trained the staff well.

“We’ve got gumbo cooking up,” the server said. “Plus Franco ordered different types of po’boys. They’ll be up here in a bit.”

When she was gone, Quinn put her arm around Tempest’s shoulder. “How are you holding up?”

“Fine, thanks.” She wanted to add that she’d had a nice, human-produced orgasm this afternoon that had sent her off to la-la land in a sweet haze of bliss. And when she’d woken up, she’d felt more refreshed than she had in weeks, maybe months. Or more to the point, years.

The memory of Franco’s tongue on her clit made that part of her body tighten with need. They needed to finish with dinner so the two of them could go back upstairs and play some more. Hopefully this time he would let her participate.

“Do we have any new information?” She glanced at Dev, and then at Martin. They both seemed to be the self-appointed leaders of the group.

“I’ve spent the afternoon in your house, talking to your ghost,” Martin said. “Her name is Candice Seaton. She died in 1956 when she was twenty-seven years old.”

Tempest felt a surge of sympathy for the woman who had died so young, and who had stayed around the house for the past fifty-three years. “What did she die of?”

“She fell down the stairs,” Martin’s voice was matter of fact. “I’m sure she threw herself down them because of the stress of dealing with the incubus named Arland.”

“Good lord above.” Tempest felt her hands shake and she clasped them together so that, hopefully, the others wouldn’t notice. “That poor woman. Can you help her?”

“Yes, I can cross her over, once I gain her trust,” Martin replied. “He used her horribly last night, and I tried to soothe her today. She’s a very fragile soul.”

“That could be me,” Tempest said, her hands shaking even more. Where was Franco? He calmed her down and she needed him now.

“No, I don’t think so.” It was as if he’d heard her ask for him. He stepped up behind her and wrapped his arms around her, pulling her back against his chest. “Did you rest well?”

“I feel one hundred perfect refreshed,” she said, hoping the others didn’t know it was because the two of them had made love. She glanced around the table and from the looks of suppressed merriment on their faces, she would say they knew exactly what had perked her up.

“I brought a guest,” he said, turning her just a little. “You know your neighbor, Mrs. Baker?”

Tempest turned a surprised gaze on the small woman as she moved into view. “Of course I do. Hello.”

“Hello, Ms. Gandy.” She nodded at Tempest, then included everyone else in her greeting. “Your charming friend came to see me this afternoon. He was asking questions about the house and I realized that the time had finally come, the right people were in place.”

“In place for what?” Tempest looked at Franco, who was staring down at her. Right now, she wished she could read his mind so she could find out exactly what was happening.

“Mrs. Baker has lived in the neighborhood since 1946,” Franco said.

“My sister lived in your house after she was married,” Mrs. Baker said. “She died in there and, if I’m to understand things right, is still there. I want to help with whatever you’re doing to get rid of that fiend and, hopefully, help Candice find some peace.”

Chapter Ten

 
 

 

I should be angry, but I just can’t find the power

She’s drained me of it, the little tramp

Things are so bad that I can’t even put Candice in her place

Sleep, I need sleep

When she’s back, she’ll give me what I need

I can get back on top again

Soon, very soon

 
* * * *

“Candice is—was—your sister?” This came from Martin, who was starring at the newcomer in fascination. “You’re Miranda?”

“Yes, I am.”

Tempest felt as if she should say something, but she wasn’t exactly sure what. Franco was helping Mrs. Baker into the seat next to her. He sat on the one opposite Tempest before leaning over and kissing her.

“Did you enjoy sleeping in my bed?”

“I did, thank you.” She blushed, knowing he could hear her think that she wanted nothing more than to go upstairs and hit the sheets with him again. To try and keep from jumping his bones she turned to her neighbor. “I’m sure we’d all like to hear Mrs. Baker’s story.”

Mrs. Baker seemed a little disconcerted. She took a drink from a glass of water, then swallowed hard. “It’s not a long story, really. Our family lived in my house for years, even before Candice and I were children. She fell in love with Mr. Seaton, who lived in your house, Ms. Gandy. He loved her as well, and the match was a good one. He had quite a lot of money as he worked as an attorney.”

There was a silence as Mrs. Baker paused. Everyone was listening to her very intently. “She married Mr. Seaton and they lived in the house for three years. They were very happy by all appearances, but soon after their third year in the house, Candice started showing signs of depression. She would sleep at all hours of the day, and when she was awake, she didn’t seem to have any energy.”

“Déjà vu, except mine was only for a week,” Tempest whispered. Franco grasped her hand and squeezed it gently.

“In her fourth year in the house, Candice changed. Her depression worsened and when she announced she was with child, Mr. Seaton became very angry. It seemed that she no longer allowed him to visit her bed, and there was no way he could be the father of her baby.”

“The incubus.” It was the first words Tempest had heard Pebbles say besides hello. The newcomer leaned toward Mrs. Baker. “Did she ever tell you about the demon?”

“Not until a week before her death,” Mrs. Baker continued. “Mr. Seaton moved into a hotel soon after the pregnancy was announced, and Candice never was quite right after that. She would talk to people who weren’t there and once she…tried to kill the baby.”

“How?” Tempest could only imagine the pain the woman had gone through. And to be stuck in the house all those years with that—thing.

“She drank two bottles of castor oil when she was only in her sixth month. She told the doctor it was an accident, but I knew better. She’d talked about it for days before doing it. She threw herself down the stairs to try and get rid of the baby, but it ended up…”

The older woman’s voice cracked and Tempest put her hand on her arm, patting her gently. “I had no idea she was still there. If I had known…”

“I’ll help her cross over,” Martin said. “She’ll be at rest soon enough, I promise you.”

“What we need from you is information on the demon,” Franco said. “Did she say anything to you about him?”

“I didn’t believe her, of course. I thought she had gone mental. She said he told her he’d scattered his seed for generations, making new demons to haunt women as they slept.”

“Yes, well now that Candice is a spirit she knows the true story,” Martin put in. “Arland was indeed the son of an incubus, flitting from place to place seducing women. But he was never able to get one of them pregnant, until he met Candice. She said that soon after her death a woman visited the house and said a spell, effectively trapping him there.”

“Did you do it?” This came from Rumer, who looked expectedly at Mrs. Baker.

“No, I hired a witch. Then I worked to scare off everyone who tried to move into the house. At one point I wanted to see if it could be torn down, but I was afraid it would free the demon.” She toyed with the napkin in her lap, tearing it into small little bits. “Most people have left quickly, except for the people in front of you, Ms. Gandy. They did a great deal of renovations before they finally moved. It was two men, living together.”

“That means he might have gotten sex, but he couldn’t get a baby, which seems to be his major goal,” Fletch said. “He might have scared them off in hopes of a female moving in.”

“And that’s exactly what happened,” Tempest said. “The question is how do we get rid of him? I don’t want to lose my house.”

“Oh we’ll get rid of him. And you’re not going to lose a thing.” Pebbles raised her glass toward Tempest. “You might even have some fun while we do it.”

Chapter Eleven

 
 

 

 

Pain

Darkness

Despair

There is no one here, no one for me to feed from

One of the bitch’s friends comes to see Candice daily

And whatever he’s saying to her gives her the ability to avoid me

That is unacceptable

Something has to change, and soon

Or I will spend too many years in darkness

Again

* * * *

Tempest didn’t want to get too content with her present location. After all, come Halloween things would change. They would bind the incubus and she would be able to go back home, be able to get back to her normal life.

Unfortunately, right now she wasn’t sure she wanted to go back to the way things were, since that would include a life without Franco. During the last three days she’d become very comfortable with falling asleep in his arms and waking up the same way.

His kisses had become a part of her daily life that she wanted to preserve. The one thing that hadn’t become part of it was sex. He’d made sweet love to her with his mouth on her first day there, making her tingle and relax.

She knew now that he’d done it to settle her down, and it had worked. But she wanted more than that. She wanted him inside her. She didn’t have to be a mind reader to know he was trying to be chivalrous by not having sex with her again before the situation was resolved.

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