He fell back into a seated position and shifted his body so that his groin was easy to access. “I guess that all depends.”
My eyebrows arched. “Oh? On what?”
“Whether or not you'll join me for dinner. And with the dirt I've got on LennyâI can keep coming back for a dance every night without paying a penny.”
“I thought you didn't do romance?”
“I don't. Dinner would consist of you, spread on the table, as my main course.”
“You certainly don't beat around the bush.”
“I don't imagine you having any sort of bush down there, babe.”
“Don't call me babe.” I slowly shifted the jumpsuit zipper open to my naval so that the edges of my breasts popped out, just shy of the nipples, from underneath. I had lost the bra after my dance. I traced my silhouette with a finger, up and down from my dÃ©colletage to my belly. “And what if I told you I
a bit of romance? To get me in the mood?”
His breathing was getting more and more shallow, chest rising and falling in a faster pattern. “I'd bring you roses and chocolate and take you to the most damned expensive restaurant I could find.”
“Mmm.” I knelt over him, and an impressive erection pushed into my crotch. I peeled the leather slowly from my body, catching the tip from Luis just as it fell from my cleavage. I tossed it behind me, making a mental note to grab it later. Then, standing in the chair, I allowed him to take the rest of the body suit down past my thighs. I stepped out of them; first one foot then the other, and kicked it to the floor, leaving me in nothing but my thong.
I shifted myself to look like Pamela Anderson. “Who do you feel like being with tonight? A blond bombshell?” I shifted to a waif-like model that graced all the
this year. “Skinny runway model?”
He shook his head, a smile lilting at the corners. “I just want Monica. That's who I'm paying for.”
With a shrug I turned back into myself. “If you say so, elemental. You're giving up something that every man in the world would love to experiment with.”
His smirk grew. “Ask me again in a century.”
Kneeling back down again, I was acutely aware that all that kept my skin from his pants was a small triangle of sheer fabric, not much thicker than floss. I pressed my sex against his firmly. He grunted and threw his head back. Lowering his mouth to my nipple, he circled his tongue around the sensitive nub and then nipped, pulling a hand up to squeeze.
I grabbed his hair with the force of someone much stronger than I looked and jerked his head back. In a hoarse voice, I whispered, “You don't touch me unless I say you can.”
He swallowed, laughter dancing in his eyes.
“Understand?” I asked, eyebrows arched.
He gave a nod so slight that it was almost imperceptible. “Yes.”
“Yes, what?” My voice had a tough-as-nails edge to it and I was pretty sure that Damien was just humoring me. But the bottom line was it didn't matter what dirt he had on Lenny. One scream from me and T would be in here in a flash, kicking his elemental ass to the curb.
“Yes, ma'am,” he said with a mocking Southern accent that made me immediately think of Luis.
“That's more like it.” I tapped his jaw with my fingertips. It was a half-smack, half-pat gesture. I rolled my hips over his erection, the size of it causing me to gasp involuntarily. He was
. I groaned, imagining what he would feel like inside of me.
He chuckled, knuckles white, gripping the sides of the chair. “Impressed already, succubus?”
My hardened nipples brushed against the starchy fabric of his shirt and I twisted my fingers into his hair, tugging hard enough to elicit a grunt out of him. I smiled. “I'll ask the questions. How are you with a little pain, elemental?”
He blinked once. Twice. Full lips pressed into a line. “Better than you, I'm sure.”
“I suppose we'll never find out.”
“I wouldn't be so sure about that.”
I slithered my body up his chest so that my breasts were back in his face. Exaggerating my breathing, I heaved them up and down, merely a tongue's length away from his mouth. Damien closed his eyes and inhaled deeply, lips parted.
“You're a breast man,” I whispered and ran one nipple down the side of his face and along his parted lips. His tongue darted out, licking his lips as if he could taste the remnants of me.
“With you, baby, I'm an everything man.”
“And you say you're not romantic,” I muttered in his ear and nipped at his neck.
His hands moved to my hips and he hooked his thumbs into my G-string. I pulled away, instead kneeling on the floor and unfastening his leather belt, pulling it swiftly from the loops at his waist. “What did I say about touching, Detective Kane?” I snapped the belt dramatically.
. You're hard to resist.” The playful smile tugged at his lips, but didn't quite reach his eyes.
With the belt in hand, I sauntered to the back of the chair and ran my hands from his shoulders to fingertips. Holding them tightly in mine, I pulled his hands behind the chair and, fastening some makeshift handcuffs, belted his wrists together behind him.
“There. That should hold you . . . for now.” I pulled his pants down to his ankles, taking a step back to admire him, sitting there in boxer briefs, the smallest bit of chest hair peeking out from his shirt collar. His gray eyes glistened as he looked at me through a spiderweb of long lashes.
I slid my panties down past my hips and thighs. They landed in a pool at my ankles. With a sharp breath, he inhaled the slightest gasp. I bent over slowly and purposefully, making sure to give him a view of my backside as I did so, and lifted the thong from the floor.
Holding out my hand in a theatrical way, I whispered an incantation and within seconds, I held a roll of electrical tape. With a catlike grace, I walked slowly, rolling my hips from side to side toward Damien. His eyes were wide, and when he opened his mouth to say something, I shoved my panties inside and taped them in place, wrapping the roll of tape around the back of his head several times before ripping it with my teeth.
In the back dance rooms, Lucien has a chest of drawers with various toys and costumes. Mood-inducing things. I fished around the top drawer until I found a couple of candles, matches, and a blindfold. “So you think you can handle pain better than me?”
Setting the toys on the floor beside him, I unbuttoned his shirt, revealing a set of tight abs and a perfectly sculpted chest. The look on his face was one to memorizeâa mixture of fear and lust. I lit one of the candles, letting the wax heat up and pool around the middle. “Who's first? You or me?”
He grunted a responseâthe words themselves were unimportant at this point.
When there was enough scorching wax, I tilted my head back and let the hot liquid drip down my chest. I gasped as the burning sensation rolled over my skin. As quickly as it came, it was gone. The hardened wax clung to my body. “Now you.” I walked in circles around his chair and slid the blindfold over his eyes. “But where you get it will be the surprise.” Leaning down, I ran my lips up the length of his neck and he tensed as he felt me, immediately relaxing as he realized it wasn't waxâjust me. “I could do it here,” I said and ran my tongue along his salty skin.
Walking to the front, I trailed my fingernails down his chest and over his tight nipples. “Or here.”
An evil grin crept over my face. It was almost too meanâcould I actually be that girl? Oh, yes. Yes, I could.
In one swift movement, I grabbed the waistband of his boxer briefs and pulled them down to his ankles. “I think you deserve it right here.” I cupped his balls in my hand and took notice that he had recently groomed himself. Expecting to get lucky, I see. His erection stood so strong in the air that it took all my restraint not to take him into my mouth right that second. The itch raged between my legs and I forced myself to ignore it. It's not like I could gain any life force from an elemental anyway.... Then again, it also meant that he in return would not be harmed by my poison.
His protests began, muffled cries from behind my panties that sounded vaguely like “no.” He was actively trying to pull his hands from the leather belt and I knew that with his superhuman strength, that belt wouldn't hold him for more than thirty seconds. Not when he really wanted out.
“Here it comes.” I set the candle down and picked up his beer. Turning it over, the ice cold frothy liquid poured all over his erection.
He screamed out, body tensed, then relaxed as he realized he wasn't in any pain.
I shifted the jumpsuit back on and leaned down, my lips to his ear. “Dinner tomorrow. At McFlanagan's. If you think you're man enough to take me on.”
And with that, I walked out.
he field was colorless, sparkling with ice and frost, despite the harvest season. Stalks that should have been leafy and green lay withered and parched beneath the frozen prairie. Julian stood next to me, rationing the little bit of water left to the various humans we had saved from dying in the streets.
I wore white. A garment that was full and long and not decorative at all. “Why would God do this?” I asked Julian, attempting to tie a dirty apron around my waist. Not that dirt mattered; as angels, we were unaffected by germs.
He walked over, taking the apron strings from my hands, fingers brushing against mine gently. He hovered to the right of my shoulder, his lips mere inches from my neck as he spoke. “This frost was no act of God. It was Carman. She enjoys the devastation; knowing we cannot interfere in a battle, she mocks us all.” His voice was dark and rough and when I snuck a glance back at him, his hardened stare sent a shudder through my body.
“And God cannot do anything? There's nothing to stop her?”
“We hope that other sorcerers who use their powers for good will step up. God has sent us angels to help the humans. But for weatherâno, God cannot reverse her spell.” He spoke softly; the words were not loud enough to fall on mortal ears. With a sigh, his features softened and he looked back down at my apron strings, taking his time tying the bow. His fingertips traced the outline of my hip as he finished.
A chill crept over my flesh as I turned my attention out the window again. In the middle of the field, gliding across the frost as if she wore blades on her slippers, was a deathly pale woman. Fiery red hair frayed from her face like a coarse, curly halo. It was long and stuck out in a way that suggested she had not seen a comb in ages. “Oh, dear.” I pulled back from Julian's touch, throwing the door open and running barefoot into the snow. The ice felt cool on my feet, but could not give me the same chill it did humans. I ran to her, calling out in Gaelic. She did not respond, but continued to glide across the ice slowly, eyes straight ahead.
I called out in Celt to herâa language I'd thought hardly anyone used anymore. “Ma'am, come inside, please! Warm yourself by our fire!” I caught up to herâa mere arm's length awayâonly she wasn't walking. Her feet, clad simply in little slippers, floated above the ice. Her dress was clean but tattered, hanging in shreds around emaciated shins.
A crack sounded and she swiveled her head to stare directly into my eyes. As suddenly as I'd seen her movement, she was before me, but a breath away. The stench from her mouth was rancid. Death. Tilting her head to the side, she stared at me inquisitively in a way that almost suggested that she remembered me from another time. Her eyes were ice blueâso fair that they almost looked blanched of color. They had a cloudy film covering them from corner to corner. With a gasp, I stepped back. Away from her milky gaze. Away from her rancid breath. Away from her.
Despite the horror that ran through my bodyâI found her beautiful. A terrifying beauty that shot goose bumps from the back of my neck to my fingertips. With no warning, her mouth opened and with jaw unhinged, she let out a wail. The high-pitched noise was one from my past. I had never seen that face. But in my human daysâI had heard that scream. I had seen that fiery red hair passing by the window at night.
Julian grabbed my shoulders, shaking me from the trance. “Monica! Monica, are you all right? What is it?”
“The-the woman . . .” When I turned back around, she was gone. “The red-headed woman. She was here just a moment ago.”
Julian's brow furrowed over two concerned eyes. “Just now?”
I nodded. He knew I wasn't lying. By our very nature, we couldn't. Omission of truth, absolutelyâbut not an outright lie. A chill slid over my body, colder than the snow beneath my feet.
“You couldn't see her.” It was a statement, not a question as I stared at the empty space next to me where she stood seconds before. “She had the strangest eyesâmilky white and a pale blue like . . .”
“. . .
ice.” Julian finished my sentence for me. I swallowed and closed my eyes, not wanting to look at him just yet; not wanting him to see the fear she injected into my veins. Angels were not supposed to feel fear. We were supposed to put our faith in God without doubt, yet this was growing harder and harder with each human who died in my arms.
“Did she scream?” Jules's voice pulled me back from the abyss.
I slowly opened my eyes, noticing just how close he was standing. How good his body felt pressed up against mine. I pushed the tingle he created away. “Yes. It could shatter your bones.”
His face dropped as he nodded. “You saw a Banshee. The Irish Faery of Death.”
“Yes. They are souls that have been imprisoned to be the bearers of bad news. Typically, it's a sort of limbo state for the soul until they commit a selfless act to free their soul. They are destined to walk the Earth, bringing death and sorrow to those around them.”
“So she appeared to tell me someone's going to die? That's no news. People all around us are dying.”
“Perhaps the death will not be a human one.”
“We cannot die . . . can we Jules?”
“We can in spirit.” He took my hand leading me back to the cabin. But that faceâher face was one I could never forget.
I woke from my dreamâthe memory was one I had not thought of in ages. The Banshee's scream echoed in my head and I clutched my temples, curling up in the fetal position until it went away. The memory from Ireland was one I had pushed away for so long. The scream from the other nightâit had been the Banshee. That's why no one else on the corner had heard her. She was back.
The dream woke me up at 4
and I managed to fall back asleep for a few more hours. Finally, at nine, I threw my covers to the side and padded into the kitchen.
I plopped onto my couch with a bowl of cereal and turned on the TV, hoping for an episode of
. As I turned on the television, a banner ran along the bottom of the screen, flashing
I changed the channel. I didn't really care about what craziness humans were getting themselves into this week. But as I kept flipping, I noticed it was on every major network. Finally, I stopped to see what the Hell was going on and why in fuck it was keeping me from watching morning cartoons.
A vanilla-looking woman with a blond bob haircut and a gray suit stood in front of some sort of town-square-looking area. “We have breaking news just inâa mutilated body was discovered in Salt Lake City, Utah, at five-fifteen this morning. The coroners have yet to give an estimated time of death. It appears to be some sort of ritualistic killing. Authorities have yet to confirm if this death is in any way linked to the victim found off I-15 two weeks ago. The victim, a sixty-four-year-old local farmer, Moe Kaelica, seems to have been brutalized sometime late last night or early this morning and left naked for dead here in Salt Lake City. According to friends and family, Mr. Kaelica was a God-fearing man who lived a simple, hard-working life. Right now, they are preparing to move his body out of the area.” The cameraman turned the focus over her shoulder where a human body was outlined beneath a sheet. Leave it to Salt Lake City's coroner team to not even have a proper body bag. This town probably hasn't dealt with a brutal murder in ages. Two men with uniforms labeled CORONER lifted the stretcher, and as they did an arm slipped out from under the sheet, dangling stiff and lifeless over the edge of the gurney. The bowl of cereal slipped from my hands, spilling multicolored milk all over my hardwood floor. On the inside of his wrist, he had a Gaelic symbol carved into his flesh. My human family's crest.