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Wicked Ways
By jodyorjen

PAIRING: Spike/Tara
RATING: NC-17 overall
SPOILERS: Season 6 through “As You Were”.
DISCLAIMER: All hail Joss Whedon, UPN, the WB, FOX, Mutant Enemy and 20th Century Fox Film Corporation. GO team! Theirs, not mine.
DISTRIBUTION: Please ask my permission first, just so I know where it’s headed.
FEEDBACK: Sure, fire away to jodyorjen@yahoo.com



Chapter 6

I woke up alone in my bed. I looked over at the rumpled sheets. The pillow still bore the indentation of her head, a lingering scent the only trace of Tara. I reached out and touched it, and it was still warm.

I didn’t bother to get dressed. When I walked into the hallway, I heard music and splashing in the bathroom. I lightly tapped on the door. ”Can I come in pet?” Once I heard her consent, I walked inside.

Tara was in bubbles up to her neck, resting against a bath pillow. “Want to join me?” she said with a smile. Didn’t have to ask me twice. I stepped up to the tub and leaned over for a kiss, then sat down, on the opposite side from her. There was a lot to be said for an old-fashioned bathtub.

“I’m trying to relax,” she said. “I woke up with my heart pounding, and realized that I had to go audition for the strip club tonight. The mere thought is terrifying.”

“You’ll be fantastic,” I assured her. “You are beautiful, graceful, and sexy as hell. They’re lucky to have you.” I noticed how red her face was, and the beads of sweat on her brow. “This is really hot,” I commented as I leaned back. “It feels great to me, but aren’t you uncomfortable?”

“I love a really hot bath. I love saunas, too. Have you ever been in one?” She leaned forward and shampooed her hair.

“Long time ago, in Finland. They really know how to have a steam there. Volcanic rocks, nice chilled vodka, buxom Scandinavian girls to rub you down.” I grabbed a bar of soap and rubbed down.

She smiled. “That sounds good. Especially the buxom girls part. I’ll have to try that.” Her eyes glinted with humor.

“Thought you gave that up for the appeal of the nice raw, sweaty male,” I teased.

She looked thoughtful. She grabbed my foot and soaped it up, then lathered up my leg. “I was just thinking about this actually. And I came up with an analogy. It’s like ice cream.”

I picked up her foot and massaged it. “Okay. I’m listening.”

“It’s as if strawberry ice cream was your favorite your whole life. You never wanted to try any other flavors, because that was the one you liked.” She dropped my leg into the water and picked up my other foot, soaping it up. “You heard other people talk about how much they liked vanilla, but it just didn’t work for you. One day, you wake up, and you have a craving for chocolate.” She lathered my other leg and then dropped it down. “And it is weird, and a little disconcerting, that you want chocolate today, when you never have before.”

She scooted towards me and lathered my arms. “But you can’t stop thinking about it, craving it. Not just any chocolate ice cream, but one particular kind. It has to be,” she looked thoughtful, “double chocolate chip.” She ran the bar of soap down my chest, her hands forming circles of suds on my body. “Darker, a little more unusual than plain old chocolate. You want that one. A great big scoop of that one, and nothing else will do.” She washed my stomach, and her hand brushed against my cock, bobbing in the water.

“So do you like the chocolate ice cream, now that you’ve tried it?” I asked her, my hand creeping up her thigh.

“I like the chocolate,” she said with a grin. “Of course, I still love the strawberry.” She cupped water in her hands, and rinsed my chest by pouring it over me.

“So you’ll throw over chocolate and go back to your old strawberry loving ways?” I asked as I brushed my hand across her curls, skimming across the bud of her clit.

She breathed in deeply and bit her lip. “Right now, I’m happy with the chocolate,” she said, her voice shaking. “But I’ve only had a little sample. I haven’t ordered the whole sundae yet.”

“You want another taste, love?” I circled her clit with my thumb and closed my hand on her neck, pulling her close for a kiss. She wrapped her arms around me and responded eagerly. She was so sweet to taste, so soft to touch. She moaned underneath my mouth as I rubbed her bud gently. She yielded to me, and her hard nipples brushed my chest. I closed my hand tightly in her hair and slipped a finger inside her.

She jerked away from me, a wave of water rolling up and splashing over the side of the tub. She backed up all the way to the opposite side of the tub, her eyes wide. “I’m sorry,” I said. “I’m sorry I scared you.” Her breath came in short gasps, and I could smell her panic, her fear. She looked ready to bolt. “Please don’t run away from me.”

“I’ve never,” she said brokenly. She took a deep breath. “I’ve never let anyone do that to me. Not anyone.”

I was shocked. I knew she’d never been with a man, but I never imagined she was still intact, a virgin in the literal sense. “Why not?” I blurted out.

“It hurts,” she said, looking away. “It hurts very much.”

“It hurts at first,” I explained. “It shouldn’t hurt after that.”

Her face was as red as a cherry. “I’ve tried before, a few times. By myself, and with other…” she broke off, embarrassed. She slid down in the water to her neck, looking miserable.

I thought about it for a moment. “Every woman is built a bit differently,” I explained. “Some women have no trouble at all, other women may bleed some, and a few will have great difficulty, a lot of pain and a great deal of blood.”

“How do you know?’ she said curiously. “Have you been with a lot of women?”

“Do you really want to know?” I looked at her seriously.

“Yes.” Her voice was firm.

“As a man, before I was turned, I never even kissed anyone.” She looked surprised. “To say I wasn’t a smash with the ladies was an appalling understatement. But after I was with Dru, I was with many women.”

“So you had sex with lots of women, and Dru didn’t mind?” She was finding it hard to believe.

“She had sex with them too, so it wasn’t really that way,” I explained. “It worked quite well actually, until she was hurt in Prague. We didn’t make love after that. She was too weak, then I was injured and she took up with Angel again.”

“Drusilla and Angel were involved?” she asked, wrinkling up her brow.

“Angelus made her a vampire, he was her sire. He was with Darla at the time. Drusilla was the third wheel in that scene, and that’s why she made me.” I shrugged. “Darla wanted her out of their bed. She was tired of sharing her toy, tired of Drusilla in general.”

“Who is Darla?” I guess none of the Scoobies had mentioned Darla.

“Angel’s sire. Buffy had a run in with her; you could ask her about it sometime. Anyway, they were what they call these days polyamorous; a three way couple. Darla and Dru were a couple, and Angel was with them both as well, together and apart,” I told her.

“And did you become the fourth part of the equation?” She gave me a wicked grin.

“No,” I shook my head. “Darla hated my guts, and Angel wasn’t about to share Drusilla with a whelp like me. So Dru and I found others to fill the place in our bed, to play out the game the way she liked it.”

She nodded. “So you were in a polyamorous relationship with Dru and other women?”

“More like a century’s worth of one night stands. I’d bring home a nice young thing, and we’d both take her, and then feed.” I looked at her closely for any sign of shock or disgust. “Sometimes we’d kill them,” Tara didn’t seem surprised by this, “but more often Dru wiped their minds and sent them on their way, especially if they looked like Darla. We both cultivated a bit of a preference for blondes. Usually they were virgins, at least until the nineteen fifties or so. I would bite them as I broke their hymen, because that way they didn’t feel the pain. Unlike Dru and Angel, I never liked hurting women unless they enjoyed it.”

“And biting them made it not hurt them?” She seemed interested in that.

“It hurts at first but then makes them feel great pleasure,” I explained. “Much like the first time one has sex.”

She sat still for a long time. “Would you do that to me?” she asked. She looked up, her eyes large and scared. “Would you bite me?”

“Only if you wanted it,” I said. “Only if you were absolutely certain it’s what you wanted.”

“And it doesn’t have to be fatal?” Hadn’t Willow explained any of this to her?

“I know how to control it,” I said. “I wouldn’t hurt you at all, other than two small holes in your neck.”

She stood up and wrapped her bathrobe around herself. “Well, you’ve given me a great deal of food for thought,” she said. “I need to do some studying for school this morning.” She smiled at me tentatively. “If you want, I’ll meet you back here at noon for lunch.”

“Where are you going?” I asked curiously.

“University computer lab,” she explained. “I don’t have a computer of my own.” She gave me a peck on the forehead and left. I sat in the water, wondering if I’d managed to blow things by being too honest and moving too fast.

***

I stood next to Anya in front of a display case at the Magic Box. “What kind of present were you thinking of?” said Anya.

An ‘I’m sorry I really want to shag you please don’t hate me now’ gift. “Something very, very nice.”

“How much money do you want to spend?” she asked.

“As much as it takes. I need something Tara would like, that she wouldn’t have been able to buy for herself,” I explained. “Is there something she’s really liked, that she’s admired?”

“Well, there’s the Orlansky tarot,” said Anya. “But I’m sure that you wouldn’t be able to afford it.”

“Try me.” She walked over to a drawer and pulled out a bundle wrapped in black silk. She laid it down carefully on the table and uncovered it. My throat tightened. It was identical to Dru’s, the one that I’d given to her in Prague. “She liked that deck?” I said in disbelief.

“She said that if she could have anything in the shop, she’d choose that.” She looked at me seriously. “But it’s six hundred dollars, Spike. There’s no way you could afford it.” I peeled six hundred dollar bills of my roll and handed them to her. She looked down at the money in her hand and her eyes widened. “Plus tax.”

I followed her over to the register. “Do you know anything about computers?”

“Not really,” she said as she rang me up. “If you want to talk to an expert, you should ask Willow.”

“I want to get Tara a computer for her schoolwork, “I said. “But I have no idea what would be good, what she would need.”

“Well, then you should definitely talk to Willow. She knows more about computers than anyone, and she probably has a good idea what Tara needs.” I hesitated, not really wanting to talk to Red. It seemed a little paranoid, but I worried that she could somehow tell what I was thinking, and would know how I felt about her ex-girlfriend. “Willow and Dawn watch cartoons on Saturday mornings,” Anya said. “They’ll be home until eleven-thirty at least.” She checked her watch. “It’s only eleven. You could stop by her house, pick her brain.”

“I’ll do that,” I replied.

“Oh, and we’re having a dinner party tomorrow night,” she said. “You and Tara are invited.”

“We’re not doing anything that I know of,” I replied. “We’d love to come.” If she’s speaking to me by then.

“Good. It’s nice to have couple friends to invite over. You and Tara, Buffy and Richard, Clem and Sophie.” She smiled widely and did a little twirl.

“Tara and I aren’t a couple,” I said lamely.

She leaned forward and whispered conspiratorially. “I know you have a crush on her.”

“That git! I can’t believe he told you,” I said, aggravated.

“I won’t tell anyone, I promise,” she said. “And I won’t tell him that you weren’t honest with him.”

“What do you mean?” I pretended to be confused.

“It’s a mutual thing, you and Tara. I’ve been around over a thousand years and I can tell when sex is in the air.”

“It’s not like that,” I pointed out.

“Not yet. But it will be. I saw the way you were looking at her, and the way she was looking at you.” She smiled again. “Those were sweaty, naked thoughts you both were having.”

***

I parked my car as close as I could get to the Slayer’s house and ran for it to the front porch. I rang the doorbell, trying to keep all my bits under the blanket. Dawn, dressed in pink pajamas, answered the door. “Hey Spike!” she said happily. “I have the juiciest gossip ever.”

I walked inside and tossed my blanket on the floor. “Come in the kitchen,” she said with a glint in her eyes. I followed behind her. Buffy and Richard stood in front of the stove. He was wearing his shirt and pants from last night, while Buffy wore a pair of white shortie pajamas. He held her tightly around the waist and whispered in her ear. She was smiling, her whole face lit from within.

“French toast is burning,” I said helpfully. The two of them broke apart.

“What the fu-“ she saw Dawn standing next to me and stopped. “Fun surprise to have you stop by,” she finished lamely.

“I’m here to see Willow,” I explained. I took a look at the platter of French toast sitting on the counter. “Although I wouldn’t mind a bit of food as well.”

Buffy put three pieces of toast on a plate and handed me a fork. “Here. Now go away.”

“What about syrup, pet?” She tossed the bottle at my head. I easily caught it and headed for the living room.

Willow sat on the couch, laughing at the television. “Hey, Spike,” she said. “You’ve got to watch this.” We sat and watched the Road Runner kick Wyle E. Coyote’s ass for the millionth time as I ate my breakfast.

“I came to ask for a favor,” I said.

She turned and smiled at me, her eyes bright. “What do you need?” She frowned. “Nothing magicky?”

“No, I know you’re on the wagon. And I’m quite proud of you, too.” She looked pleased. “Actually, I need help picking out a computer system for Tara.”

“Oh, that would be so nice for her,” she said. “It’s really generous of you. She told me that you’ve been taking really good care of her since you moved into the house.”

“I try,” I said.

“So, have you met her new love interest?” She leaned forward and sipped her juice. “I’m dying to find out the details.”

“What did she tell you?” I asked. This was entirely too delicious an opportunity to pass up.

“That she’d met someone wildly inappropriate, who she wasn’t sure she could trust but had a raging amount of attraction to,” she said.

“What?” I said, floored that Tara thought of me that way.

She looked at me seriously. “Gotcha.”

“What?” Words escaped me and I just sat there opening and closing my mouth.

“I couldn’t resist,” she said with a twinkle in her eye. “I know it’s you, Spike.”

“She told you?” She told Willow about me?

Willow shook her head. “She didn’t have to. She’s in love. It’s in her face when she looks at you, in her voice when she says your name.” She seemed fine, but I sensed that at least part of it was just keeping her chin up.

“You’re not angry?” I asked her. “I was afraid that it would upset you if you knew.”

“It hurt,” she admitted. “And I was angry at first. But I blew my chance with her when I manipulated her mind. I know there’s no way to get back what we had.” She smiled at me. “She loves you and I think you both deserve to be happy.”

“Tara loves Spike?” Dawn shrieked.

I got up and waved my arms. “Shut up, Dawn!”

“You’re joking, right?” she said. “You and Tara?” She turned to Willow. “You can’t be serious. Tara doesn’t like boys.”

“I dated Oz and crushed on Xander for a long time,” explained Red. “I can’t exactly be shocked that it could happen, although I was surprised.”

“But you two are living together,” said Dawn. “Does that mean that you guys are, you know, having sex?”

“Spike is having sex with who?” said Buffy. She stood in the doorway, Richard behind her.

“Spike and Tara,” said Dawn. “Isn’t that the most bizarre thing ever?”

“We are not having sex,” I said heatedly. “Don’t go around sullying her good name. She’s a nice girl.”

“No one is judging you,” said Willow. “You and Tara are both free and single.”

“I’m sure she’d hate knowing this got out,” I said. “I don’t want her hurt, or upset, having people know that we’re,” I stopped, attempting to classify the relationship.

“In love?” said Willow.

“Making love?” suggested Dawn.

“Nuts?” suggested Buffy. “You’re both nuts.”

“Don’t start on me, Slayer,” I said. “Please just back off.”

“She deserves better than you, Spike,” she said, “someone who can be honest, someone to build a future with.”

“I’ve never lied to her, not once,” I said. ”And I’ll do anything for her, take care of her the best way I know how.”

“He’s buying her a computer,” Willow said helpfully.

“You should go to Computer Town,” said Richard. “I have a buddy there. I could get you a discount.”

“So it’s okay for Tara to date Spike because he’s buying her a computer?” Buffy said sarcastically.

“That’s a big commitment kind of gift, Buff,” said Willow. “It means that you’re willing to stick around. Buy peripherals together, install software, discuss high speed options. It’s a stepping stone kind of gift. Definitely serious.”

“So next up in this scenario Spike would be calculating two month’s salary for a gift that would last forever?” Buffy said sardonically.

“I don’t think she’d be a diamond kind of girl,” I said thoughtfully. “Maybe an opal or a sapphire.” Everyone turned to look at me. “Not that I can get married,” I said hastily. “Being as how I’m dead and all.” I realized that Richard was there. “Dead British, I mean to say,” I backtracked. “Citizen of the United Kingdom and all. Can’t get married in the Colonies.”

“You could have a handfasting,” suggested Willow.

“What’s a handfasting?” I asked.

“It’s a Wiccan marriage. You pledge to each other for a specified period of time, like a year and a day. Traditionally, it’s a year and a day unless you have a child, then it sticks for good. But you could also marry for eternity. Reincarnate together and everything.”

“I can’t have children and I don’t have a soul, so fatherhood and reincarnation are both right out,” I pointed out.

“If you and Tara have a handfasting, can I be a bridesmaid?” said Dawn eagerly.

“I’m not marrying her,” I said loudly. “We’ve only lived together for two days. Just because I want to share my life with her, just because I can’t stop thinking about her, just because she makes me feel like the happiest man on earth doesn’t mean I love her.” They all stared at me. “Okay. Enough talk. I want to talk about computers, and nothing else. Got it?”

****

“If you and Tara were handfast, could I be the maid of honor?” asked Dawn. We walked through the aisles at Computer Town as I pushed a cart.

“I think I should be the maid of honor,” said Willow. “If it wasn’t for me, they wouldn’t be a couple.”

“I think it’s one of the rules of etiquette that those that have slept with the bride or groom should be excluded from the wedding party,” I said dryly.

“Wiccans aren’t all uptight about stuff like that,” Willow pointed out.

“Apparently I need to do some more reading in my Wicca books,” I said. “I haven’t hit on this handfasting stuff yet.”

“You’re reading about Wicca?” Willow raised an eyebrow.

“I got some books about it,” I said. “It’s very interesting. Wicca is a beautiful religion.”

“I miss it,” she said wistfully. “I miss practicing.”

“I don’t see why you can’t,” I said. “Wicca is not about all the spells and dark energies that you got yourself mixed up with. It’s about celebrating nature, not corrupting or twisting it.”

“It’s hard to tell where the good stuff ends and the bad stuff begins,” she said. “It would be too easy for me to slip over.“ She was quiet for a minute. “If you’re really serious about Wicca though, a priestess leads a Wicca 101 class at the community center every Tuesday. That would be a good place to meet some other people and ask questions. Although you can always talk to Tara about them. Why didn’t you tell her you wanted to learn more?”

“I don’t want her to think I’m just putting on some act for her,” I said. “I want to understand what she believes, what’s important to her. That’s all.”

Richard walked over to us, a store circular in his hand. “This system here has everything on the list that Willow made,” he said, waving the handwritten note.

Willow looked it over. “It’s a good one,” she said, “and it’s on sale.”

I looked it over. “Let’s do it.”

****

I walked into the house, carrying the computer box. Tara was in the living room, sitting on the sofa amidst piles of Xerox copies. “I thought you were coming to lunch,” she said quietly. “It’s almost four. My audition for the club is at seven.”

“I lost track of time,” I explained. “I was picking out a present for you.”

“What is that?” she asked curiously. I put down the box and opened it with my pocket knife.

“A computer for you, pet,“ I said.

“Are you serious?” she said.

“This way, you don’t have to rely on the computers at school,” I explained. “You can stay right here and do your work.”

“I can’t accept this,” she said in bewilderment. “This is too expensive.”

“It wasn’t that much, really,” I said. “Willow helped me pick it out, so it should suit you down to the ground.” I pulled everything out of the box. “We don’t have a desk, but I can set it up here on the floor for you.” I looked at the instructions Willow had written out explaining how to set it up. “Here’s Red’s note to you. She said that it was instructions on how to use the computer.”

I went to work setting up the power strip and plugging in cords and turned my back on her. “It doesn’t seem that hard to set it up,” I said. I heard a gasping noise and then the noise of running feet. I turned around and she was gone.

I went down the hallway to her room and knocked on the door. I heard her inside crying. “Tara?” She didn’t answer. I stood in the hall and listened to her harsh, painful sobs for a moment, then turned the doorknob. “Sweetheart?” She was lying face down on the bed. She rolled over and looked at me, trying to smile through her tears. I went in and lay down beside her, putting my arms around her. She wrapped herself around me tightly. I held her close and rocked her gently, doing my best to soothe her.

“I love you,” she said softly. I looked down at her, shocked beyond measure. She moved away from me for a moment. “Don’t say anything.” She pulled her dress over her head and slid out of her panties, then tugged off my clothes.

I lay there quietly, still stunned by her words, and she stretched out on top of me. For the first time, we lay together naked, nothing between us. I opened my mouth to speak and she pressed her finger to my lips. “Carpe diem,” she said with a smile. “Willow said that if I loved you, I should tell you, because you looked like you needed to hear it.” I felt like crying. I didn’t deserve Willow’s generosity or Tara’s love. I didn’t deserve anything near as good as this.

She bent her mouth to mine and kissed me. Slowly at first and then harder, she explored my mouth with her tongue. She brought my hands to her breasts and I cupped them gently, lightly rubbing her nipples with my fingers. We kissed until we were both fully aroused, my cock hard and ready and her moist against my thigh. I held her waist and nuzzled my face in her cleavage. She moaned as I licked up and down the passage between her breasts. “I adore you,” I said in her ear. “You are my beloved.” I pulled away and looked in her eyes.

“Don’t feel like you have to say anything,” she said softly.

“You need to know too,” I told her. “You need to know how much I care about you. You need to believe in me, in us. I want you to tell me everything, even the things that scare you, even the things you think I don’t want to know.”

“I want you, so bad I’m burning,” she said. “But I’m afraid that I can’t be what you need, that I’ll disappoint you. I don’t know what to do.”

“I’ll be anything, do anything for you.” Anything at all. “Whatever you want to do, everything or nothing. Just tell me what you want.”

“I can’t stop thinking about you,” she breathed. “I can’t stop the hunger.”

“When you think about me, what do you imagine?” I asked. “What do you really want? Not what you think I want, love. What do you fantasize about me doing?”

She looked into my eyes. “I want to feel your mouth on me. I want you to lick me.”

“Keep talking,” I said, as I rolled her on her back. “You tell me those thoughts you’ve been having. I’m going to make them all come true.”

I parted her thighs and pressed my mouth to her slit, gently slipping my tongue inside her. “Lick me up and down,” she said softly. I did what she asked. She tasted so sweet in my mouth. I couldn’t get enough. I lapped at her juices, filling my mouth with her essence. “Suck on my clit,” she said breathily. I worked my cock with my hand, incredibly turned on by her talking to me. “Harder,” she said. I gave it all I had, nibbling and licking and sucking until she came apart in a rush. “Spike,” she cried out. My mouth was filled with her, and I gulped it down greedily. I wiped my face with my hand and crawled up to her. She lay on the pillow panting, her face flushed.

“I like making you call out my name,” I said to her. I kissed her bare shoulder.

She smiled. “Please, make me do it as much as you like.” She ran her hands over my chest. “You are so beautiful,” she said. “I can’t believe that someone like you could want me.” Her hands slid across my stomach, and brushed across my cock. She took me in her hand and stroked. “Tell me how I make you feel,” she said.

“You make me feel strong, and powerful. Needed, and desired.” She slid her thumb across the head of my shaft, running up and down the slit there. “Jesus, girl. You make me want to lose control. I want to tie you up, to ride you until you scream.”

“You want to tie me up?” she said huskily.

“I want to cuff you to the bed and tease you until you can’t take it anymore,” I said, my head lolling back. “I want to make you crave me. I want to make you burn for me. I want to make you need me.” Her hand closed more firmly around me. “Oh that’s it,” I moaned. “I’m going to come. Don’t stop, don’t stop.” I cried out and she kissed me as I came, her tongue sliding inside my mouth. I rode out the rush, drowning in pleasure. She loves me, a voice sang in my head. She loves me.

***

I pulled up the DeSoto outside the warehouse. It was dark and quiet. “Are you sure this is the right place?” Tara asked nervously.

“This is it. Place isn’t open yet, that’s why it’s quiet.” We walked to the door and I pressed the bell. A red horned face poked out of the door. “Hey, Karl,” I greeted the demon.

“Oh, hey Spike. Heard you were coming with a new girl for Hiram.”

We walked into the club. It was very large and dimly lit. We followed Karl over to the bar. Hiram turned to meet us. He rose as we appeared. He was a frost giant, his skin white as snow and eyes like chips of ice. Seven feet tall, he towered over us all. “Miss Maclay,” he said warmly. “Thanks so much for coming.”

She blushed prettily. “Hello, sir.” They shook hands.

“Would you like a drink before you show me what you can do?” he asked.

She shook her head. “I’m good to go.” She smiled at me and followed Karl through the door to the dressing room.

“She’s very beautiful,” he said.

“And she’s amazing. The moves that she has, the way they make you feel. I’ve never seen anything like it,” I told him.

He gave me a probing look. “You’re not in love with her are you? If you’re both going to work here, I don’t need any complications.”

“We’re friends and roommates, nothing more,” I lied.

He smiled. “So there’s still hope for me then?” he said huskily.

“Hiram, the day I let myself be buggered is the day I ask nicely for a fat stake in the chest.” The old goat would never stop trying.

He laughed and slapped me on the back. “Same old Spike.” The lights came up on the stage and music came over the sound system. Tara came out, draped in red scarves. “Dance of the seven veils,” he said with surprise. “The girl’s a bit of a classicist. Interesting.”

She moved gracefully in a circle as she twitched her hips from side to side. She pulled off a scarf from her hip and tossed it aside. She peeked at me through the veil of her hair, and I could feel my blood begin to rise. I felt choked in my throat, agonized by jealousy. For the first time, it processed that Tara would be naked, on this stage, where anyone who paid the cover and the drink minimum could see her. “Good lord,” said Hiram.

She strode down to the catwalk and wrapped her leg around the pole. She spun, her long hair cascading over her bare back. She rolled her shoulder and another scarf drifted off. She swayed back toward the stage and revealed that her chest was totally bare. Her nipples were erect, and her breasts were full and flushed. She smiled beatifically as she tossed aside another wisp of crimson. I wanted her so badly. There was nothing I craved more than to taste her skin, feel the warmth of her body. I heard the sound of heavy breathing and turned to look at Hiram. He was breathing heavily, and his eyes were locked onto Tara. I wanted to beat him, rip his eyes out for daring to look at her. I turned back to watch her. She was bare now, only the smallest of the red scarves between her legs.

She reached out her hand and beckoned, and I rose out of the chair. Her eyes bored into me, and I knew that I was what she wanted, what she needed. I knew that I would be completed within her, that I would find untold bliss in her body. She smiled at me widely, and I felt scorched by desire, alight with flame. The song stopped. Tara bent and picked up her scarves. She smiled at me as she scurried behind the curtains.

I turned back to the bar. Hiram sipped at a Scotch, his hands shaking. He poured me one.

“I have to hand it to you, my boy. You surely know how to pick them.”

I sank back a large swig. “I told you she was amazing.” The rage was still there, as well as the arousal, warring with each other within me.

“Well, you also said she was human,” he observed. “And you were quite wrong on that front.”

I turned and looked at him. “She is human, Hiram.”

“That girl, “ he said, “is a demon. Do you think that she would affect us this way if she wasn’t?”

“But it’s impossible,” I said. “I mean, her family told us that she was one, but it wasn’t true.”

“It was more true than you knew, apparently.” He looked thoughtful for a moment. “She’s either pretty watered down in her bloodline, mostly human, or she hasn’t fully brought forth her demon yet. But there’s no doubt that she is a succubus. Nothing else can arouse a man so fiercely, without his consent or knowledge.” He laughed. “Not that it will be a problem here. I’ll make a fortune off of her.”

I watched Tara walk towards us, her face wreathed in smiles. How could she be a demon? And how could I tell her?


Continued in Chapter 7


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