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~ I shouldnt have come. It was dark out. Though Id texted Paula an all clear, shed be mad.

Wed promised not to risk being seen in Jimis territory. Yet here I was, flexing my skills, on the hunt. It took little time and only a few sultry looks to get Justin to pull me onto the dance floor. The strobe light scattered dots of light over his skin. Justin. Good name. I liked the way it felt in my mouth and could imagine screaming it out, covered in sweat and satisfaction. The navy shirt hugged his broad shoulders. He knew how to move and took command of my hips. Thank God for tall and lean and beautiful men like this. I wanted Justin. Bad. No matter how many might deny it, though, men require a steep challenge in order to fall in love. Sex and challenge and more sex. They hate a tease because a tease will win their heart almost every time. If she plays her game right. I wasnt a natural by any means, but Id learned a few tricks over the course of seven men since acquiring my curse. Being so hungry for more would make it difficult to play hard to get. I wanted Justins hands in my hair, his waist in my eye line, his cock in my mouth. All, right there on the dance floor, for everyone to see. He smelled so good. But this wasnt that kind of club and if it had been, Id have a lust overdose. ~ Praise for Love Lust: Love Lust will leave you utterly breathless. The prose shines, the plot captivates. Angst, insatiable cravings and tangled emotions collide on a succubus' path to find true love. I can't wait to see what Ms. Scott has in store for us next. Highly recommended, one-of-a-kind read. ~ Keta Diablo, author of Where the Rain is Made Love Lust is edgy and erotic. Amber Scott has taken a monster of myth and made magic. ~ Ericka Scott, author of Criss Cross Sexy, sinfully fun, and hot as hell! Love Lust will burn a hole through your inhibitions and leave you with a craving for more! ~ Ann Charles, author of Nearly Departed in Deadwood, 2010 Daphne du Maurier Winner What a talent Amber Scott has for creating not only characters who grip the reader by the emotions and refuse to let go, but a story so full of suspense you'll not be able to turn the pages fast enough! Make sure you have time to read when you start this book. You won't want to put it down! ~ Susan Schreyer, author of Death By a Dark Horse ~ With adoration, for Justine Jones of Mind Games and Double Cross by Carolyn Crane ~ Acknowledgments Special thanks to my friends and my family for their enduring support through my writing journey. It means the world to me to have each of you inquiring, high-fiving, and bringing the Jack over whenever

needed. But, of course, I have to name a few all important names. Ann Charles, you are my author chickee soul mate and I would never have come this far without hooking arms with you. Plus, it wouldnt have been nearly as much fun. You help me grow a pair and author up every day. Julie Murillo, thank you so much not only for your expert eyes on my darlings but for being a fan as well. I love to Twi-hard with you, too. 1stTurningPoint crew, thank you for teaching me so much and for chiming in whenever I contribute. I love being one of your motley bunch. Desert Rose RWA, special thanks to you and all the amazing, talented authors you bring together. Ive grown from a shrinking violet into a tall, strong sunflower with my face aimed at the sun thanks to you. Plot Mamas, thank you for taking a chance on a group blog where the hilarity rings through every day. Most of all, my kiddos, thank you for sharing me not only with each other, a challenge within itself, but with my work job. I hope you are blessed with a dream and the privilege to pursue what makes your heart soar, too. ~ Also by Amber Scott: Play Fling Wanted Jessies Girl The Best Revenge Love Lust Coming Soon: Fierce Dawn ~

Love Lust
By Amber Scott

~ Copyright 2011 by Amber Scott Cover Art 2011 by A. D. Holt Tholden Press Smashwords Edition Cover Art by A. D. Holt Edited by Julie Murillo and Merrili Munk ISBN-13: 978-1456524500 ISBN-10: 145652450X

Love Lust is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any form or by any means without the prior written consent of the Publisher and/or author, except for brief quotations used in critical articles or reviews. ~ Chapter One I had no business hitting downtown Vegas on a Friday night. I knew that. Even if I was nave enough think otherwise, Paula Morrison, my best friend, reminded me with every glance. The closer the bus lumbered toward the strip, the heavier my heart weighed. Sure, living cursed with a physical thirst for human lust held certain inherent risks. But Id never been a gambler. Regardless, I had to come tonight. Id promised. Two weeks ago, as I packed my things and told Seth goodbye forever, hed asked me to come today. I just want you there, Olivia, Seth had said. If youre there, I know Ill go through with it. I dont want to chicken out. I hadnt been Olivia Starr in years. The succubus Id become was Liv, even to him. He didnt know the succubus part, but had called me Olivia just the same. The memory of the vivid sign of closure stung. But in this life, heartbreak ruled almost as much as the hunger. I hadnt commented, or corrected him. I probably would have handed over a kidney if it could have eased the hard pain in his pretty eyes. Can I say one more time how bad an idea this is? Paula asked, bringing me back to the whining bus. She adjusted her white knuckled grip on the pole. Her long blonde hair swayed in rhythm with the bumps and turns. Yes. Say it a thousand more times if you need to. At least Id always have Paula. She and I had set off on our own three years ago, when Id first gotten the crazy idea for a cure. Seth was supposed to have been my cure. Instead, he was the same as the others for me. Delicious and nourishing, but also ineffective. Id convinced Paula away from others like us and now Id convinced her into coming downtown so I could say goodbye to the one I thought could free me. Imagine the guts it would take for Seth to step into public poetry tonight. I shrugged one shoulder. Good or not, I promised. And I just feel safer with you near. Maybe I should come in with you, too, Paula said. Lingering a block away isnt exactly safety in numbers. Trust me. I wish you could, but Seths nervous enough. Having you with me will make it worse. Hed take it as some kind of screw you from me. Seth thought Paula wanted me for her own, that the harmless flirtations meant something more. Paulas wry grin barely masked the hurt. Youre probably right. Plus, all that angst would be a complete turn off. I was hoping as much, but not for her. For me. Though my lust appetite had remained sated from Seth Hines and our three years together, being in a crowd risked a rapid re-awakening. Such was the nature of the curse. Well, you werent invited, I said, trying to sound teasing.

Paula playfully stuck out her tongue. Suit yourself. I will. I gave her a smartass smile. Still, it seems like pointless torture, for both of you. Or are you after something else? Paulas hunger tended to make her project her particular needs onto me. While we lived the same life, our needs werent identical. Paula didnt need love to sustain her fix. I did. I shook my head. Im only going for Seth. I have time. Weeks, maybe more. I never liked rushing into a new relationship. Besides, there was the curse to figure out. So do you. The bus stopped with a loud lurch and Paula took to walking toward the exit instead of responding. As I followed Paula down the buss steps, exiting onto the rain-soaked curb, I told myself Seth would be better off without me. They always were. Seth would be, too. I used to think the heartbreak would get easier, that somehow, because mine no longer beat the same rhythm, the dense pain of leaving someone would be easier. It wasnt. But I had to survive. Better his heart break now than he forever lose every little quirk and nuance that made him Seth. Most kinds of love eventually ran out and if I stayed Id soon be forced to leave behind a man addicted to me. Mindless to anything but pleasing me, getting more. Hed lose who he was. Id take heartbreak over enslaving him. The bus groaned away, tires hissing from the wet street. Seriously, Paula. Lay low, okay? This will be hard enough. I know, I know. Dont worry. I fed two days ago. But the stubborn jut of her chin made me worry. I couldnt do this without you. I dug my shades out of my bag and slid them onto my face, breathing in the scent of the oil and grime and cold. Underneath it, I smelled a hint of flavor, the scent my libido preferred in a man. Not good. Right, Paula said, zipping up her cropped leather jacket. How could you ever ride the bus without me? You know what I mean. Seth would hate Paula coming, but we could stick together before and after. Its still early. The open mic wont go till dark even. Well meet back up and be gone before Jimi or anyone else can find us. Paula nodded and fell in step with me as I navigated toward the main drag. Her heels and my boots click-thudded on the rain-drenched sidewalk. The afternoon sun glanced off the mirrored glass of the buildings and the freshly wet pavement. Rainbows shone in oily puddles. Rainy winters in the desert. Funny. I actually missed snow. I missed a lot of things. Paula turned to me as we paused, waiting for the light to change. Dont freeze your ass off, she said, eyeing the space between my wool skirt hem and my knee boots. Course not, I said, pulling my scarf snuggly to my neck to block out the citrus and musk that called to me. If I did, what would you have to stare at? Paula smiled flirtatiously, lingering near the bus bench. Cant help it. You know how I adore the impossible. Id heard the line before. When the infamous incubus, Jimi Gale, had first changed me, Paula had saved my life. Shed stepped in and stopped Jimi from draining me to death. Shed saved my life and though she often gave the invitation, we both knew Id never take it. And we both knew she didnt actually want me to. Flirting helped her hide her worry. But as she walked with me a bit longer, shifting from one high heel to the other, I had to wonder if she was building up the nerve to say something more. Something beyond our friends who flirt pattern. We crossed the street. I hated her silence, but couldnt think up much to say. I hated being inside Jimis territory, though why hed be looking for us after three years, neither of us could say. He just was.

As far as Jimi was concerned, we were his. Made by his incubus magic and so, forever and irrevocably, his. Like sex pets. Ill text you when Seths set is over? I asked. Sure. Whatll you do in the meantime? Be a good girl. Paula smiled. Text me. I nodded and she walked away in the opposite direction I was heading. Tourists milled around the main drag. I walked two blocks down, deciding, since I had a little time to kill, to meander and think. The sexual scent tickled in my nose again. I couldnt help it. My hopes rose the tiniest bit despite the heavy ache in my chest where my precious Seth used to live. Seth. His almost gray eyes had nearly turned blue from the pain of our breakup. I tried veering downwind, to avoid the scent. A cold breeze hit my face and the perfume hit me full force. Id been sure my last encounter with Seth would protect me for weeks, yet the craving awakened. My body recognized what it wanted. I closed my eyes against the urge to hunt the scent. After a steadying breath, I opened them again, ignoring a passerbys stare. The scent was gone. Relieved, I headed left on Ogden Avenue, toward Java Jungle. The cold breeze sent goosebumps over my bare thighs. I liked the wet chill. Seeing Seth after our breakup wouldnt be easy. My body knew him and he had become my comfort food. Going with the craving awakened risked a lot. I might want Seth one more time. Or worse, I wouldnt. Two blocks later, I entered Java Jungle and located a corner booth to snag once my iced mocha latte with extra whipped cream arrived. A crew was setting up for the show. The caf was swathed in animal print and velvet. The aroma of coffee and clove completed the beatnik atmosphere. I smiled. Seth would be brilliant. And I would be strong. Paula texted a smart-ass comment about hand jobs. I ignored it. A tinge of musky male sex hung in the air. I breathed through my mouth. After four years of putting up with my appetite, I owed Seth one night of undivided attention, or the illusion of it, at least. You came, Seth said from close behind me. I turned, surprised. Hey, there. Of course I came. I said I would. The contrast between his rugged good looks and his poets heart was still my favorite thing about Seth. And his hands. He had the best hands. Big, sturdy, but so gentle. Just the sight of his magic fingers quickened my pulse. Yeah. Well. He shoved his hands into frayed jeans pockets. I figured you were lying. I blamed the quiver in my throat on the caffeine and forced myself back to people-watching. Gee, thanks. His grin nearly blew my skirt up. Can I get you anything? Nah. Im good. Paula might come by. Seths eyes shuttered. It was petty to bring up the friend I would never ditch for him, but who wouldnt keep her flirtations to herself. I dont know why I did except to hurt him and stop his beautiful eyes from eating me up. I couldnt let the idea of going back, even once more, take root. Wont that be fun, Seth finally said. I couldnt keep my gaze from swaying to his hidden hands. I loved his hands. The shape, the texture, their subtle amber glow. My nipples stood at attention, remembering their touch. When is your set? Fifth in, I think. He gestured to the empty seat across from me. You mind? Damn it. Why had I thought I could do this? Not at all. He sat down and the aroma of his cologne and bare maleness surrounded my senses. How would I ever find any other man like Seth? How long is your set?

I dont know. As long as I need, I guess. I brought four poems. Im not sure how many Ill read, though. He smoothed his fingers over his goatee. I have this nightmare about standing up there sweating buckets, nothing but crickets, you know? Just picture everyone naked, having sex. Doggie style. Helps me. He laughed out loud, and the deep, lovely clap of joy really stung. But the pain edged out the awakening. I would not turn him into some helpless, soulless slave lapping for attention. No matter how his mouth tempted me as he licked his lips, cocking his head at me. Not just naked? Doggie style, too, huh? With barking. Always works for me. Because you have so much open mic night experience. I grinned ear to ear. Tons! Didnt I ever tell you about my days on stage? You left that part out. Did he have to smolder me with his gaze? If only I could see his inner glow and read him better. Paula could see the shimmer of lust on a human. I rarely did. Well, maybe I was protecting you. Oh, how kind of you. Damn his full mouth. Damn his soft, excellent kissing. See? Knowing about my huge success would only have intimidated you. Who needs that? But I know now. Too late. Youre here now. Cant back out. Youve committed to your course. Theres always a chance to turn back. His eyes glittered with meaning. To change my mind. No. I lowered my gaze to the latte in my hand. I released my tight grip, wiping my wet hand. Dont do that. Trust me. If you did, youd regret it for the rest of your life. He took my hand in his. I nearly knocked my latte over from the shock of his touch. My entire being awoke. The familiar cacophony of anticipation sang in my veins. The image of our naked bodies entwined flashed into my mind. His gleaming skin against mine. I took my hand back. So, which poem will you start things off with? His eyes searched mine for a moment, their pain sharp. This one. He pulled it out and tossed it to me. I recognized the title. It was his ode to me. Nothing like a little public flogging, eh? I thought you liked it rough. I flashed my eyebrows at him and bit down my retort. The urge to crawl over the table and bury my face in his lap gripped me. But it wasnt unbearable. Resisting his temptation seemed to sap my energy levels, though. I might not have as much time as I initially thought to find new love. Fate, it seemed, got cheap thrills over taunting me. No sooner had I tamped down craving my beautiful Seth when the scent Id lost returned. And my most primal parts tuned in to the smell. Pheromones, hormones, chemistry. It defied the logic Id once believed life had. My gaze darted over the room, from tables to the cashier back to Seth. Hed once held my senses captive like this. Hed once carried this scent. No more, though. The sad but telling sign revealed within an instant, my lust had coldly moved on. His love couldnt sustain my life any more. Seth looked past his shoulder. Had he noticed the change in me? Expecting someone? he asked. Just Paula, I lied. Thought I saw her. He scanned my face. Maybe she forgot to come. Yeah. Maybe. I forced my attention back to the table, but my senses picked up on everything else. The grind of the machines brewing coffee heaven. The funky folk music wafting from the speakers. Chatter. Whoever my potential lover was, he was close. Either way, I put a smile on my face and did my best

to appear unruffled. Somewhere, fate chuckled heartily over this one. Had to be. I would not hurt Seth with so much as witnessing a casual flirtation. Yet, there my lust was, begging for me to hunt. Maybe Id call Paula after all. With her here, resisting my cravings awakening might be easier. Or harder. I ditched the idea altogether and took to sipping my latte, pretending Seth wasnt searching my face for answers. So. I miss you, he said. And before I could fumble a response, he rose from the table. Im going to grab a smoke. I think theyre starting soon. I nodded, watching him leave in that easy gait that was so Seth. The second he was out the door, I took a full, long look around me. The scent was still strong and, really, in such a space, any of the thirty someodd patrons could be the source. Id have to mingle to locate the one my body, my succubus curse, wanted. I couldnt do it. Not yet. Not at all. I had hurt Seth enough, breaking it off with flimsy excuses that showed what a terrible liar I still was when it came to what mattered. At least it proved I was still human, if only partly. The announcer welcomed the first act. I kept my eyes on the door, focusing on Seth returning. Guitar notes strummed the air. I looked to the stage. Wavy, shoulder-length hair framed strong, angular features and nice, broad shoulders. His hand shook. He stopped strumming, cleared his throat and began again. When I heard his deep, velvety voice, something within me shifted and I knew, down to my essence, this was him. This was the lover I had scented out. This was the living, breathing body mine awoke to. I had to have him. My body screamed to have him. Seth sat down. I tore my eyes from my stare, gulping in air. You startled me, I said without thinking. He looked pale. Hey, you okay? The husky voice singing U2 tugged at my libido. I forced my gaze to remain on Seth. He nodded slightly. Nerves? The lyrics whispered to deep parts of me. I knew every word of the song. All I Want Is You. In my head, I sang along. Seth nodded harder. My chest panged. I came around and took his chilled hands in mine. Hey, Seth. You can do this. You are the most talented person Ive ever known. You have to do this. It will change your entire course. I know it. A little color returned to his cheeks. It gave me enough comfort to steal a glance at the singer. He looked lost somewhere inside the song rather than sitting in the smoky room, strumming a western guitar. His sandy blonde waves fell over his face, barely revealing half-closed eyes. Just breathe, I told Seth. It will be okay. I hugged my arms around him, squeezing tight. He smelled good. Like rain and incense. Wonderfully, yet sadly, normal. I know it. The song ended and the room erupted in applause. How am I supposed to compete with that, Seth said. Trust me. Theres no competition at all. Despite my reaction and my guilt, in a way the words were true. Seth was a poet, not a singer. He could enthrall a crowd, too. Just you and your words resonating in every heart in the room, inspiring hope and joy and pain and wonder. Okay? Seth kissed my cheek, love on his lips. I patted him on the shoulder, swallowing the knot in my throat. The stranger looked up from his guitar, his hand resting on the wooden body like on a lover. My breath caught. His eyes met mine. In the dim light, at several feet of distance, they looked like the color of the ocean at dusk. My heart skipped and I became possessive and decided. He would be mine.

~ Chapter Two The hip-hop beat and raunchy lyrics called to me. Following him from the caf to the dance club was easy. Far easier than pretending he wasnt in the room all night for Seths sake. And though he attracted more than his share of female attention, like most guys, he was a sucker for a schoolgirl skirt. Or maybe for the boots. I shouldnt have come. It was dark out. Though Id texted Paula an all clear, shed be mad. Wed promised not to risk being seen in Jimis territory. Yet here I was, flexing my skills, on the hunt. It took little time and only a few sultry looks to get Justin to pull me onto the dance floor. The strobe light scattered dots of light over his skin. Justin. Good name. I liked the way it felt in my mouth and could imagine screaming it out, covered in sweat and satisfaction. The navy shirt hugged his broad shoulders. He knew how to move and took command of my hips. Thank God for tall and lean and beautiful men like this. I wanted Justin. Bad. No matter how many might deny it, though, men require a steep challenge in order to fall in love. Sex and challenge and more sex. They hate a tease because a tease will win their heart almost every time. If she plays her game right. I wasnt a natural by any means, but Id learned a few tricks over the course of seven men since acquiring my curse. Being so hungry for more would make it difficult to play hard to get. I wanted Justins hands in my hair, his waist in my eye line, his cock in my mouth. All, right there on the dance floor, for everyone to see. He smelled so good. But this wasnt that kind of club and if it had been, Id have a lust overdose. I had to settle for his nicely-sized erection pressed against my ass as I undulated my hips in rhythm to the pulsing bass. Thank God he was hot. Maybe thats why fate had dangled him in the first place, forcing me to work for my little gift. Feral scent did not necessarily equate to attractive. And, shallow as it might be, I required at least liking what I fed on. God, youre sexy, Justin said near my ear, sending delight shivering through my chest. You trying to make me cum, right here? I loved the idea. And hated it. Where can we go? I asked, obeying the musics demand, swaying against him. I knew where I wanted to go. To the nearest semi-private space with room enough for me to straddle his hips and rock onto his big cock. But I had to be good. My lust might be in control, but my heart was on the line as well. Lust-sick, I could take right down to the dry heaves and migraine. Lovesick was just too hard, though. Lovesick ached soul deep. Justin took my hand and led me off the tangled dance floor. My thighs trembled in excitement. Wet heat bloomed between them. His voice alone was a numbing drug on my willpower. I was flirting with fire, I knew. We stepped into the cold night air. The din of the club hushed away, replaced by the sounds of the nearby downtown strip. Traffic hummed. Bright lights blared and blinked. All I saw was him. His scent beckoned me to step off into untold pleasures. But my heart kept me grounded in reality. Though I still believed Id find the one who would release me from this curse, chances were, Justin would be yet another link in the chain.

He pulled me into the alleyway and pressed me against the concrete wall. His mouth covered mine in a demanding, feverish kiss. His tongue was hot, his lips soft, but firm on mine. I met each press and lick measure for measure, devouring every sweet suck and nip as he fed me with gratification. His hands found my waist. My hips found his bulging hard-on. God, he felt big. Bigger than before. My sex moistened from imagining the possibilities. Would he fill my mouth? Would it test my bodys limits? My appetite spiked at the very idea. Breaking our kiss, he stepped back. I realized Id pushed him. Good girl. At least some sane part of me remembered to slow down. I couldnt succumb to the need and drown in oblivion, not without risking everything. My future, my health, even my life, at times, difficult or not. Sorry, he said. I didnt mean to come on so strong. Its okay. You stopped. But I dont want to. He ran a hand through his hair, looking stunned and tousled and wonderful. Im so attracted to you. I trembled inside. How had I resisted attraction like this so well before, with Seth? With others? My chest panged. If Seth only knew how much I had loved him. No. Better never to let him know. Because he wouldnt understand. Even if I could tell him the truth and he believed it; it would hurt him. He would see me differently. I couldnt live with that. I focused my gaze on my new interest. Im really attracted to you, too. But. I had to play the game. I know. I know. Too fast, right? I nodded, peering up at him through my lashes, letting my lower lip pout ever so slightly. Hed fed me well, even with a kiss. And I had no doubt he was feeling more than typical desire for me. But a one-night stand would only make me crash. I needed long-term sustenance. God, youre gorgeous, he said, his breath making hot clouds in the air. The throaty sound of it was a tease all its own. Thanks, I said and licked my lips. He groaned just watching. Slower? I nodded slightly, letting my hips jut forward in invitation. He took it. And by slow, he clearly meant, tantalizing. The demanding passion of before became a press and suckle of his lips on mine. His tongue softened. His lips moves did things in places he wasnt even close to touching. The tenderness each touch caressed me with nearly hurt, it felt so good. Are you cold? he asked, leaning back so he could see my eyes and watch me react to his cold fingertips as they trailed up my bare thigh. This isnt exactly winter wear. Its wool, I said on a swallow, my mouth watering. His fingers snuck higher. Around to my inner thigh, past the hem of my skirt, pausing at the edge of my panties. Though we stood in shadows, I saw the blue of his eyes, heavy-lidded and lit with desire for me, which held mine. He slipped one finger beneath the satin threshold and tugged. The cold touch of his hand so close to the building, wet need inside of me made me whimper. His eyes flashed at the sound, triumphant. I moved toward his finger, wanting so much more. He didnt move closer though, not at first. Not until I showed him pleading in my gaze. He grinned sweetly and inched closer, touching the slick result of my craving for him. Jesus, youre wet. His gaze faltered, his eyes almost rolling back in exultation. I only nodded, waiting for his now warm finger to enter me, aching for the feel of his long, strong hand coaxing waves of pleasure from me. He didnt make me wait long. Returning his steady gaze to mine, he drew his finger over my bulging clitoris, sending delicious shivers through me, curling my climax closer. He stroked down the length of my apexs valley, allowing his other fingers to gently graze my most ticklish spots. I throbbed. He traced a circle that wound in closer, deeper, ever so slightly more into me

until I could feel his rough knuckle pressing down. I gasped, raising my leg to allow better access. He took it and stroked in and out of my wet, hungry pussy with enthusiasm. A wicked grin curved his mouth. God, he was devastatingly sexy. You like this, baby? he said and I simultaneously loathed and loved the endearment. I nodded, fighting to keep my eyes open and staring back into his. Am I going too fast? he asked, sincere concern in his eyes and his voice. I barely know you, I said, breathless, nearly oblivious. His hands were magical and I was going to cum if he didnt stop. But I wouldnt tell him not to stop. I couldnt. But, you like me? Who cared? Oh, yeah. I did. Love. Not just sex. Sex would not be enough. I needed both, as a woman and as the sex-addicted, cursed succubus Id become. He paused. His hand went a little limp and moved away. I grabbed it before he could, shaking my head. It just feels so good, I said, hoping he would understand the struggle I was dealing with. Do we like each other, maybe? Definitely, he said and his mouth was on mine again, kissing me in such a way that spoke his limited control over his desire for me. I broke away. Im not a one-night stand kind of girl. I want you badly, but I cant just Neither am I. I know, I know. Never trust a stiff prick, right? Speaking of stiff, I couldnt resist reaching to the outline pressing against his jeans and feeling the length, grabbing the outline. Oh, my. He was endowed, to say the least. How would I ever get a man this hot, a man that I craved this much, to ever love me? Not by being easy. I had to stop. I had to play the game. I kept my gaze coy and daring. He pushed his finger back into me, slipping in a second. And every soft, slow stroke, every gentle kiss on my trembling lips, awakened my craving more fully. I fumbled the top button of his fly open, my hands shaking in eagerness. An eruption of noise startled me back to reality. A rowdy group leaving the club walked past the shallow alley. Justin moved, blocking the view of his hand up my skirt, but not a single passerby glanced our way. We mustve been deeper in shadows than I thought. Or maybe I owed a thank you card to dollar shots night. They were gone and his finger drove into me again, making me moan from the shockwaves of pleasure in my pussy. My aching need and wakened craving coiled tighter. I had to cum. I needed to cum. I realized, no matter how much it risked that Id never see this man again, my body and my curse didnt care. Justins touch fed me and while the nourishment wouldnt last, I wanted to binge on this pleasure for all it was worth. Admitting as much pushed me past the point of return. I couldnt stop. Deep, primal need took over. His finger twirled and stroked. In and out of my slippery heat. Wet noise filled the air, mingling with my bated breathing and soft whimpers. I freed his cock and gripped the hard, thick length with both hands. God, he was glorious. The tip bulged. I could feel him throb in my careful grip. I wanted his cock in my mouth, in my aching pussy. But his fingers were magic and I couldnt stop him. He pressed the heel of his palm against my clit. Youre going to make me cum, he said, groaning. But his eyes held to mine. Jesus, thats so perfect, I panted, meaning his voice as much as his hand and as much as his cock in my stroking hands. My hips curled to his hand. I was going to explode and though I hated looking away from his erotic stare, I wanted to see the cum shooting out of the tip, dripping onto my trembling hands. Say my name, he said and kissed me quickly. Justin, I said, returning the deep kiss, then breaking away. Yes, Justin. Cum for me, baby, he whispered, fingers twirling and pressing and driving into my pussy.

My legs shook. I closed my eyes, let my hands fall still and surrendered to the climax ready to sweep over me in steep waves. No, he said, but didnt stop. Open your eyes. I want to see you cumming. I obeyed. Oh, God. The first wave took over. Oh, God. Say it, he purred, his eyes doing things to me I couldnt explain. Justin, I moaned as my pussy clenched in tight, sweet pleasure. And I said it again and again and again. Justin. Justin. God, yes. Justin. My succubus hunger drank in the pleasure and grew supremely sated. But the woman I still was had a little something she wanted, too. A little taste of power. Justin gently pulled his hand from my body. I took it and licked each finger, loving the look in his eyes and the bounce of his cock. My turn, I said, lowering myself to a squat. His cock stood pointing high, rigid in anticipation. For the briefest moment I wondered how in the world Id fit this thing in my mouth. He braced himself against the wall. A car drove past. I didnt care. I wanted to taste his hot, salty essence. I wanted to see it shooting out, pouring over my hands. I wanted the power to do to him what he had done to me. I wanted him to scream my name. I looked up at him and smiled wickedly. Say it. Olivia. Huh-uh. Its Liv. Liv, he panted, his gaze pleading. I licked the tip, suckled it, letting my mouth water over it so I could use the slick moisture to coax his cum into my waiting mouth. Justin groaned. His hips leaned in. Carefully, I took his cock into my mouth, moaning in satisfaction when it jerked. God, he was big. Thick and long and hard. I took his cock as far back as I could so it pressed against my throat. I moaned, loving the vibrations my voice sent through his length. I used one hand to reach in to cup his tightening balls, the other to guide his cock. I stroked him with my mouth, letting all the wet, sloppy noise fill the air. The thrill of supreme sexual power over him filled me up. I went fast, then slowed. I stroked hard, then soft. I lingered. I paused. One of his hands went into my hair. Liv, where have you been all my life? Fuck. That feels so good. I was going to make him cum. I might no longer present the all-important challenge but, by God, I would make him forget every other woman who came before me. I pulled him out of my mouth and worked my hands in tight strokes, holding his gaze. Say my name. And say please. And tell me what you want. A flicker of delight showed in the passion fogging his eyes. Please, Liv, please suck my cock. The satisfaction of those words were almost as powerful as the orgasm hed given me. In fact, it awoke my body and I realized I could want more of him. But first, my turn to finish at play. Suck it? He nodded. Please. Do you like how I suck your cock? Fuck, yes. Please. I want to cum in your mouth. Please. Im so close. I ran my tongue over the tip, licking the bead of salty liquid off. I took him into my mouth, deep, and sucked. And moaned. And stroked. A faint thread of golden shimmer drew from his belly toward me. I breathed the glow in, feeding on his attraction. His first shudder came. Then another. And another. Each one harder and faster until he shot into my waiting mouth. I milked every last drop, feeling sated down to the tips of my toes. I stood up. Justin leaned his head down against my shoulder. I almost just passed out. My God. He swallowed. That was amazing.

So. I wiped my mouth and grinned. What do you want to do now? Breakfast? My stomach growled. Ah, yes. One of the many things Id grown to love about Las Vegas. A girl could get a Denver omelet, cheese leaking out the sides, at any Godforsaken hour. Sure, just not downtown. Is that cool? ~ Chapter Three Leave it to Paula to save a girl from any risk of awkward silences after sex and a meal. My phone vibrated urgently from my purse as I dug around for a twenty to pay the bill, though Justin was insisting he had it covered. Her earlier text told me shed see me at home and wanted details. If she was calling, she might be pissed. At least let me get the tip, I said, hitting reject on Paulas call. I needed to talk to her, but not in front of Justin. I was feeling too good and I knew it would show in my voice, too. Paula was likely pissed and Id tell her sorry later. I wanted to enjoy the effects of our encounter just a bit longer before letting the guilt and consequences set in. Uh-oh. The ex calling? Ex? No way. Just my friend. The way he asked, I had to wonder if Justin had spotted me earlier at Java Jungle, sitting with Seth. Maybe that look across the room hadnt been just for me. He hadnt stared at me again and I would have sworn Id kept back enough as Id tailed him to the club. You didnt break the universal girl pact and ditch her back at the club, did you? I chuckled. No. Were roommates. She probably needs a ride or lost her keys or something. No biggie. If its important, shell text me or call back. And, as if on cue, Paula did both. Shit. Scooting out of the booth, I answered. Justin stayed, thankfully, and gave me privacyleastwise if talking in front of totally curious strangers counts as private. Hey, whats up? I answered, prepping my speech in my head. Liv? Oh, thank God. Im in bad shape. What is it? What happened? I knew right away, she wasnt at our apartment. The music, the drugged slur to her words. Exhibition club. Im getting sick. Shed lied to me. She hadnt gone home at all. Of course, neither had I. Id gone and followed Justin and gotten a fix. I wanted to get angry, anyway, but she sounded bad. Where are you? Ill come pick you up. We hung up. My pulse staggered and apprehension took residence alongside my omelet, souring my stomach. I have to go. You look panicked. Justin got up. Can I help? Thanks, but no. Its my roommate. She does this every now and again, unfortunately. I just need to catch a cab and get her. Im sorry to rush out on you like this. Actually, part of me was a bit relieved to be forced to leave. He was so easy to like and if I started falling all over myself again over himthree times over breakfast and once on the walk over was plenty Id definitely blow the chance of this becoming long term. Hed be a really good long term. And a tiny part of me, as always, hoped, this time, this one, would be the last, the love that would free me. Id be free of Vegas, free of starving for sex, free of Jimi Gale. Even if the incubus had given up on finding Paula and me, he was ever present in our lives. Like a ghost dictator ruling our movements.

Dont worry. I understand. Can I walk you to a cab? All the gentleman stuff made my knees weak. That crooked, panty-melting smile made other things weak. Like my resolve. I would say yes, but Im going to be running. But, thank you. And thanks for breakfast. All of it. My cheeks bloomed with heat. Typical. I turned to leave, but his hand on my arm made me pause. He handed me a folded paper napkin and pulled me quickly in for one impressively mind-numbing kiss, considering how fast it ended. I have a driver, he said. Let me call him and meet us outside. I hesitated. He tipped his head a little and squeezed my hand. Really, hes fast and Ill feel better. I finally nodded knowing I should be getting my ass the hell out of heaven. He only raised both eyebrows sky high when I told the driver where we were going. The driver didnt blink, though. Good man. Must be local. Another bonus about Vegas. Not much shocked the locals. Im not that type, but my roommate is a little reckless, I said. Justin shrugged. I think we all have a friend like that. Thanks for the ride. No biggie. Its Garettes. He wont mind. Then he reached for my hand and the radio filled the gap of silence. I was beyond grateful. If hed probed any further I couldnt have said how Id have reacted. And he didnt try to get any, either. Just held my hand lightly in his. The sedan pulled up to the club valet in record time and I pulled my hand free. Want me to come in? No! I said, a bit too fast. I mean, itll be better if I find her myself. It could be a minute, though. You dont have to wait. Well wait. Take your time. I nodded. I got out and paid the clubs exorbitant cover charge, leaving me enough to maybe catch the bus home. I didnt mind the bus, but having a ride was nice. Justin was nice. Finding Paula was all that mattered, though. Finding her before she got too sick. I weaved past a couple in bondage, a heavy-petting threesome on a heart-shaped lounger, and an occupied love swing before locating the first peer view window. Music pounded from unseen speakers. Moans cooed. Sex perfumed the air. A murmur ran through my veins. I blocked out the sensations, focusing on the carpet, on the task at hand. Three views later, I definitely recognized Paulas movie star mouth on a stiff cock. A redhead had her face between Paulas long legs. As bad as she had been half an hour ago, shed come back for more? Damn it. It wasnt like emergency room doctors, or any others for that matter, had orgasm overdose protocol in place. At best they could treat swelling, if she had any, contusions, which Paula generally avoided. The door was locked. I knocked, doubting Id get an answer, but there was always the off chance one of the three would be game for a fourth. Thanks to Justin, Id be able to resist the temptation of actually joining in. No luck with the first knock. I couldnt stay and wait, though. Not without overloading my own system. I pounded on the door. Paula! Peering through the window, I gulped back a moan watching as Paula got a cum shot over her naked breasts. The mans abs rippled as his hips jutted forward. His taut hip muscles drew the gaze right to his long cock as he stroked it. The creamy cum poured onto Paulas small, high mounds. Her small, pink nipples pointed high. Her head fell back. Her hands clutched at the woman eating her pussy. A sheen of sweat broke over my neck. I tore my gaze away and leaned against the far wall, panting. Surely, shed exit soon. Once I caught my breath again, I dared another glance. Shell be the death of me, I swear, I said to the vacant corridor walls.

Paula was getting dressed. I could feel an interested stare roving my way. I ignored it. Paula came out, her eyes glazed with sexual inebriation. You came, she said and fell into my arms. I came, I said and helped guide her out the front door, sending venomous glares to any interested onlookers. Justins car pulled around. A bouncer and Justin helped me get her in. Justin took the front seat. He didnt say a word as I negotiated Paula into the back seat and laid her head on my lap. She smelled like cigarettes and sex. The car started moving toward home and relief came over me. And a little anger. Why do you have to go on a bender every time? I asked low enough for only Paula to hear. I wasnt expecting any answer. She shrugged against my thigh. I dunno. Were they at least clean? I couldnt smell anythin on em. No HIV or anything, if thats what you mean. Hearing as much didnt make me feel any better for her. But I knew how much pain shed be in tomorrow. I hate seeing you do this to yourself. No more, okay? She nodded; her eyes stayed closed. I drew messy blonde tendrils back from her face. She looked so childlike with her peaches and cream complexion and fair coloring, her features relaxed in a near sleeping state. I jess, she mumbled. I guess I got my hopes up again. An-then Seth wasnt the one. You know? I knew. Or at least had suspected. Paula might overtly scoff at my idea that true love couldwould free me of this succubus curse, but I suspected she too hoped it was true. Her flavor of curse didnt require deep affection to feed or sustain her like mine did. Infatuation and attraction got her by. But her heart must long for more and yet fear it, too. Monogamy of any sort would take serious control on her part and a rare adventurous spirit in whoever won her heart. What a long shot. Id told Paula as much once. Shed rolled her eyes and sworn my crazy idea off. She didnt care about love. I dont wanna go back to Jimi, Liv. Ill end up dead. But I might without him, too. Like this. Dont worry, I said, as much to her as to myself. Tomorrow is a new day filled with new possibility. And well be home soon. Safe and sound. Paula didnt respond. Her head lolled in my lap in rhythm with the car. I held onto her shoulder to keep her with me and couldnt help wondering if it would always be her and me against the world. If what shed said caused any alarm, Justin didnt show it. He helped me get her inside our apartment. Paula flirted with him. He only smiled, kissed my cheek, and said goodnight. The next two days sucked more than words could describe. Paula dry heaved and writhed in pain. The kind of pain not even narcotics could kick. I forced her to smoke a little weed, knowing it would at least help her appetite. Throwing something up was always better than nothing at all. By evening, Paula lay sleeping on our couch, shivering and sweating. I tucked the blankets around her, refusing to cry. I was worn out and not only from the two days. From the last seventeen years living in want and worry, not just for me, but for her. Shed saved my life seventeen years ago. But, for the life of me, I couldnt figure a way to stabilize hers. Facing Jimi, whod infected us both, wasnt the answer. Wed already tried. Wed begged him for some sort of antidote. It was like his semen had given us a lust STD. Hed only shrugged his shoulders, looking a bit defeated. Hed told us, Leave if you think it will help. It wont. Youll be forced to come back. When we hadnt come back, apparently hed been forced to start looking for us. I wish I knew why. I told myself he liked to keep his brood of lust suckers close. Occasionally, though, thinking about the soft

look in his eyes that last day three years ago, I wonder if it wasnt something else. I couldnt go back to Jimi. It would ruin me. I wouldnt be Liv, anymore. Id lose whatever was left of my heart, maybe my soul. Going back would mean I accepted what I was. If not for the whispers, the rumors that snuck past the veil of ignorance among Jimis throng, Id have lost hope long ago. Some said it wasnt a disease. Some said it was a curse. But curses could be lifted. Some whispered of a demon inside. Could we find someone who could exorcise it? Jimi didnt know. More likely, he didnt care. Hed learned to live with it-had tamed his beast. He had learned to like what he was. My stomach hurt remembering Jimi. No one had ever hurt me like he had. But, hed also taught me. I suppose, thanks to Jimi, I had tamed mine to a point, as well. Paula, though, lived on a lust rollercoaster. I couldnt let it kill her. Id seen it kill one of us. No living, breathing creature deserved that level of agony. When the phone rang, I jumped. Id been staring at Paulas sleeping form, tears sliding down my cheeks, despite my resolve. I grabbed my phone. I didnt recognize the number, but answered anyway. Id take a telemarketer at this point. Distraction was distraction. Olivia? Its Justin. Uh, hi there. Justin? Howd he get my number? Had I given it to him? But its Liv, remember? Yeah, I know. I just like it when you correct me. I chuckled. Sick. I like it. I wiped my nose on my pajama sleeve, trying to sound casual. How are you? Im pretty bad off, actually, he said. Whats wrong? I cant get you out of my head. My belly flipped. Oh, no. Thats terrible. What have the doctors said? Its withdrawal, apparently. The only cure is more. I grinned wryly. If he only knew. Thankfully, I couldnt infect him with this obsession. Well, I suppose Ill have to nurse you back to health. He chuckled. Good. How soon? Oh. Sick and eager. I like it. A lot. I took in Paulas appearance, feeling her forehead. Her fever was gone. Whatcha doing later tonight? Waiting for you at my hotel room? Heat warmed my cheeks. I didnt even know if he was a local, thats how slutty Id gotten. Oh, well. Least he liked me loose. What hotel? MGM. Its a suite. Im here with two friends, but theyll be at the tables all night. My body lit within. Guilt soon followed. Give me a couple hours. My roommate should be up soon. Id say bring her, but No, I didnt mean that. I want to make sure shes alright. Rough night, you know? So what that it was two nights past. Okay. Well, Im in 767. Shall I send the car? he asked in a pseudo chic voice. I loved it, but turned down the offer. Just call me when youre on your way? I grinned, agreed, and set down the phone. His hotel was near the strip, but more on the edge of the risk zone. My mind calculated my options, quickly rationalizing through the guilt of abandoning Paula. I could order take out, have it waiting with a note. I could tell her to call me if she still needed me. And every idea made my body crave leaving more. A night with Justin, even an hour, naked, in his arms was too tempting to resist. I needed the nourishment. I needed the distraction. I stretched my arms above my head. Whew! I needed a flipping shower.

Two hours later, I left dressed to thrill, wondering how much time Id have. Before Paula woke. Before Justin left town. Before I gave up on true love, curse cures, and exorcisms altogether. ~ Chapter Four There is no more powerful feeling in the world than making a guys jaw drop and his eyes flash. Justins reaction to my skinny jeans, platforms, and slinky top made the toe-pinching walk up worth every blister. What are you trying to do me, girl? I smiled slyly, eating it up. You did say you needed a cure. That I do. He gestured me into the room with a sweep of his muscular arm. That I do. I took in the suite. Two sofas, a wall of windows sprinkled in twinkling city lights, a bedroom door on each side of the room. I let my bag fall to the floor. A fruit and cheese tray was on the table and champagne waited in two glasses. Music? Justin quirked an eyebrow and nodded. Whats your flavor? Anything that will make me move my hips will suit me fine. Nice. He put a CD into the stereo tucked into a low cupboard. A slow, electronic beat floated out of the rooms hidden speakers. MGMT? Works for me. Really, it was beyond working. The musics rhythm slinked into my senses, amplifying Justins scent and nearness. The craving within awoke. Justin handed me a glass. I downed it and set it aside. I tugged off my heels and stepped close to him. I breathed in his scent. I wanted to ask how long he was here for, but I didnt want to know yet, either. He set aside his glass, tucked a finger into my jeans pocket, and tugged me closer. My hips began to move of their own volition as the song pulsed through me, the sultry lyrics whispering to my libido. Justins hips followed my lead and I remembered what a good dancer hed been the other night. His hands roved around my waist, over my ass. He gripped my hips and turned me. My titties bounced. I flipped my hair, bending ever so slightly and looked back at him as he grinded against my ass. His eyes flashed again. Youre making this hard on me, he said. In more ways than one, I could feel. I only smiled, extending my arms above my head and leaning back against his chest. His hands came around to my belly. He nuzzled the sweet spot on my neck, sending shivers over my bare shoulders. God, he smelled good. Musk and sex and citrus. As his hands came up, I slinked downward, swaying with the music. His hands grazed over my tits, no more than my shirts slippery material separating us. My nipples tingled. A shock of pleasure shot downward to my clit. My pussy pulsated. I swayed back up. His hands found my top button. He yanked my jeans open. I swayed back down. His hands carried the edge of my shirt up. The material softly slid over my skin, cool and slippery, contrasting with the warm, rough feel of his hands. Justin groaned. He cupped my naked breasts and squeezed them. I arched against his touch, pressing my ass back against his hard cock. I wanted to take this slow, he said, a bit breathlessly. But you are so fucking sexy. The music changed. Chris Isaaks throaty voice came over the speakers and the lyrics dared my inner tramp. I did a bad, bad thing. I did a bad, bad thing. It was my turn to groan. I closed my eyes and let the music take over. Spinning around, I peered at Justin through my lashes, making him take a step back while I slowly eased my jeans off. I stepped over them and pushed him back another step so that his legs came up against a sofa. Sit down, I whispered.

He complied, his eyes wide and mouth parted in that stare that thrilled me down to my soul. My shirt fell down one bare shoulder. I straddled his lap and sank onto his hard-on. His jeans were rough and tight against my bare thighs. I went on my knees on the floor and yanked his jeans open and off. He pulled his shirt over his head, revealing broad shoulders and muscle tapering down to lean hips. He reached for my shirt. Huh-uh, I said. I stood up, turned around, and let the music take me over again. I swayed. I dropped and popped my hips. With each turn and bend, my shirt slinked up, down, over my curves in its own erotic dance, delighting my skin and appetite. The power was so deliciously heady and soon, I wanted more. You have the most perfect ass. He grabbed it with both hands, licked one cheek, then another, tugging my thong. I pulled away and wagged my finger. The song changed again as I returned to straddle his lap. Is this your seduction soundtrack or something? Justin grinned that boyish crooked one that made me wet. No. Garette made it. Hes the player out of us. And youre the boy scout. Something like that, he said and pressed his hard cock up to meet my pussy. Nothing but the cotton of his boxers and the satin of my wet panties separated us. He cupped my face and drew me close. He kissed me with soft, tantalizing caresses. I returned his kiss, drowning in the pleasure drenching my body. The tender way he held my face and suckled my tongue and lips fed my need, yet wet my appetite all at once. I was near mindless, aware only of sense and sensation. The scent of my moistening sex mingling with his. The sweet taste of his mouth, the hardness of his erection, the hunger coiling inside of me. I need to fuck you, I said. Here and now. Wait for me, baby. Just a little. I want this to last. God, his voice was so good. So throaty and melodic. What would it do to me if he sang? Id probably cum right there, pressing against him. I was nearly able to now. I couldnt help it. I moved up and down his length. He felt so good. I pulled my panties aside and freed his cock through the fly of his boxers. I slid again, up and down the length, letting my slick wetness cover him. He groaned. I drew my pussy to the tip, letting it press me open, then pulled away, sliding back down. Justin tugged my shirt off. His mouth found one titty. He sucked it hard. My body trembled as a shockwave of pleasure coursed through me. My pussy throbbed. I was swollen and ready and so freaking close. I needed his cock inside of me. And I didnt care if he wanted to wait. I needed to explode and I needed to feel his thick size fill me up, press me to my limits as I spasmed around him in bliss. Just the thought almost sent me over the edge. I took control. He moved his mouth to my other breast and I moved my pussy to the tip of his cock. His sharp intake of breath as I slid onto his shaft heightened my awareness. Liv, you gotta stop. Youre going to make me cum, Justin breathed. No. Dont cum. Just let me cum, then Ill stop. As I spoke the words, I began throbbing around his stiff length, clenching in sweet, radiating release. My head fell against his shoulders. Jesus, Liv. Your pussy feels so fucking unreal. You have tooh, fuck. I can feel you cumming. I moaned in abandoned pleasure, rising up and down on his dick as wave after wave of intensity gripped me. I collapsed, my muscles pulsing against him. He throbbed. In a quick, deft move, he pulled me off of his prick. I grinned, glad he wanted to hold out, glad that I could undo him as easily as he undid me. And he didnt have a lust demon to please. Once a succubus, never an incubus lover again. I now could detect an incubus. Each Id encountered had instantly repulsed my lust.

I need a minute or two, Justin said, stroking the backs of my arms. I felt nearly full. As much as Id love to fuck the night away with him, I couldnt risk getting myself to where Paula was now. Recalling my friend, I got up and checked my phone for a message or text. Nothing. Good. I faced Justin, in all my naked glory. Shower? He stood up, his dick pointing high. What a tremendous example of male endowment. My mouth salivated just looking at him. Keep looking at me like that and Ill forget making this count. I laughed. He took my hand and led me to the private bathroom adjacent to his room. Roomy. Im impressed, I said, stepping into the water once hed warmed it. The water pouring over my titties, wetting my hair, dripping down my skin revived the erotic impulse within me. Justin joined me, that wide-eyed look of wonder and lust making me heady. I imagined the sweet little slutty vision I must present from my shaved pussy to the mascara and eyeliner smudging in the steamy water. Jimi Gale told me, as he was seeding me with this curse, that I had cocksucking lips. The full, pouty kind that made a mans balls tingle just looking at them. I nudged Justin into the water, then slowly dropped down to my knees. He braced a hand against each tiled wall and hope shone in his stare. Ive been thinking about your cock in my mouth. About the taste of your cum. His head fell back. Youre like a wet dream come true, Liv. How do you do that? Do what? I asked then trailed my tongue over the tip. Look like an angel and talk like a pornstar. His voice was husky and uneven. I put him into my mouth and sucked. Hard. Harder. Almost enough to hurt him. His hips leaned in, arching his back. His stomach and chest displayed all sculpted and wet. I popped my mouth off, enjoying the smacking sound. I kissed him. My tight nipples grazed his chest. His cock pressed between my legs. Expertly, he picked me up and held my weight. I positioned him and he thrust into me. I gasped, shocked at how sweet and huge he felt. I was still so swollen from the pleasure of my climax that each deep stroke was amplified. Oh, God. Justin. You feel so good. In slow, steady pumps, he lifted and thrust, his arms supporting my weight and one hand exploring exactly where I wanted him to go. A little voice inside my head whispered I was flirting with danger. I could go too far. If I dove too far into the oblivion, I might not make it out. But he felt so good, driving his big fucking dick into my hungry pussy. I bounced and bounced. He grunted, pounding into me. He bent and sucked on my titty, grazing his teeth around it. Almost making me hurt. His hand circled closer and closer to my secret naughty spot. Yes, I said and looked him in the eye. Do it. He didnt need it spelled out. His finger massaged small circles around my hole, forcing him to stop pumping, but I didnt care because I was about to cum again. Please, I begged. He pushed the tip of his finger past my threshold. His cock jerked. So did my pussy. Slowly, carefully, he pushed his finger deeper. I moaned and ground my hips so that his cock pressed deeper and my clit hit his pelvis. He twirled his finger inside my ass and sparks of pleasure shot through me. Im going to cum, he said. God, so was I. Then his dick grew slightly bigger and my pussy gripped onto it while my ass clenched onto his finger. I couldnt open my eyes to see his golden feed entering into me. An image flashed in my mind, a hypercolor picture of Justins frame blocking flashing lights. The image vanished, but the flashes seemed to stay, and instead of seeing them, I felt them. My nails dug into his shoulders as I tried to hold onto him, half afraid the intense pleasure coursing through me would take me under.

Justin groaned, his body shuddered. I gasped for air, slowly coming back to reality, so sated that I sagged, limp in his arms. That was different. Justin drew out of me, cradled me into his arms and got us out of the shower. He laid me on his bed and crawled under the covers with me, wet and bliss-filled. I told myself not to stay. I told myself to catch my breath, play it cool, and walk away. He was leaving tomorrow and I didnt know back to where. Paula needed me. And if I wanted him back for more, especially travel-the-globe kind of more, I should take off. But his arms were strong and the bed was soft and the sandman had grander plans. Sleep. To dream. ~ Chapter Five I woke up drenched and panicked. My mind spun from the dream. It took several breaths to realize it hadnt been real. Another few to recall where I was. Justin slept next to me, a limb sprawled in each direction. The image of Paulas bloodless body, getting violated by those two from that sex club flashed back into my mind from the dream. I shook my head. I eased off the mattress. Listening at the door a moment, I decided his friends hadnt returned. I peeked out the door, saw the all clear, and hurried to my clothes. Dressed, I checked my phone. Four texts from Paula and a voicemail icon told me Id better get the hell out of here. My gut turned, but I decided read the texts once Id escaped. Maybe she was just worried about where I was. I found a pad of paper and pen. Wobbly and a little drunk from our encounter, I scribbled what I hoped would sound sweet and grateful. The bittersweet feeling of missing old love mixed in with the thrill of new left me feeling hollow and bright all at once. Sometimes, I really missed feeling plain bored. Then I headed for the door. My hand on the knob, I stopped. What would I do now? Would I start over? What would I do never seeing him again? Not good. Thoughts like these and the desperate hope they brought along with them meant I needed more of him. Id grown attached. Sneaking back into his room, hating that I couldnt stay, wake up with him, and work on something beyond sex. I snooped until I found his wallet. I dug out his license and wrote down the details. I had his phone number and more now. I wouldnt ponder yet what in the world I would do with the info. I felt better and could walk away and focus on my friend. On the cab ride home, after allowing myself to relive every last moment of the night, I finally read Paulas texts. Each said, in varying versions: Get your ass home, girl. I think I found the cure. She didnt answer when I called back. I focused on suppressing my hearts hammering. Paula could mean a gazillion things by that, right? Hangover cure. A lost CD. My heart wanted only one meaning, though. And before I could stop it, my mind raced with big ideas about hope for the future. Hope for a normal human life. Hope for ordinary love. A real chance with a guy like Justin. Hell, with Justin. Id never connected with someone so much as I had last night. I walked into our apartment. Paula popped up from her perch on the sofa arm. Jesus, Liv, where have you been?

With Justin. Getting fed after shed depleted all my energy reserves. That wasnt fair. Id depleted whatever reserves Seth had left me by going after Justin the first time. Her flirtation with the other side hadnt helped, though. Oh. Well, good. Im sorry I interrupted. You are not going to believe this. No sweat. She was bubbly. Interesting. I dropped my purse and keys onto the counter, then myself onto the sofa. Believe what? Paula sat down cross-legged and pink with excitement. At the club. I was so sick that I totally forgot. Like I blacked it out. Until this morning. A meal and coffee do wonders, eh? I almost asked what kind of meal she meant, but decided I didnt want to know. Okay. And? Did you meet the redhead, Gigi? Or remember her, I mean? Yes? Well, she knew what I was. She wanted me to turn her. My stomach tightened. And when I explained how I cant, that shed have to find an incubus, well, she went on to grill me about who turned me and how long Id been a succubus and all that. She paused as though waiting for some reaction. Right. So. Turns out she knew more about it than we do. Did you know there are less than a thousand living beings like us? And that we arent exactly immortal like a vampire or whatever? And she said it isnt a virus. It isnt really a demon, either, though. My palms began to sweat a little. I rubbed them on my jeans. If it isnt some sort of presence, how can it transfer? I dont know. But she said neurologically its a lot like a heroin addict. One time is enough to addict you. I didnt buy it. Or maybe, I didnt want to buy it. How would she even know that? And if she thinks that, why would she think you could turn her? Or want you to? Because we are the drug, so to speak. We carry it in our fluids and like semen can impregnate, but cervical fluid cant, a male must be required to give it. Again, if she knew that, why did she think you could addict her? Paulas shoulders sagged a little. Huh. Hadnt thought of that. Im sorry. I want a simple answer as much as you do. But if I could wean myself off of this hunger, I would have by now. Ive tried. Damn it. Shit. I know youre right. I was probably looking for an excuse to celebrate. Should have known a witch doctor would be too farfetched to be true. Still sucks ass, though. She folded her arms around her knees and set her head on them. Thanks for taking care of me, by the way. Of course. Youd do the same for me. She might have to. I was still pretty high from my encounter with Justin. Wouldnt a witch doctor be nice? Someone to shake a stick and do a dance and concoct a potion out of this prison. Nice, and impossible. Totally. Paula rubbed her face into her arms. Probably hiding a tear or two. I was all stoked for a road trip, too. Wait a minute. She gave you an actual name and address? Mmm-hmm. Alejandro De Santos. Santa Fe, New Mexico. Thats far. As stupid as the idea of some wrinkled old man dancing around a fire for our sakes sounded in my head, in my heart, I hoped. I hoped for some proof of magic, some way out of this hell. Not that far. We havent left Vegas, though. Meaning, wed never left the proximity of Jimis territory, The Morrocan hotel and casino. No. But Jimi said wed never be okay without him, that wed be forced to come back, too. I thought about Jimi always wanting us all close. Hed told us all that wed get sick, worse, that we could die, if we strayed too far from him. Maybe there was nothing to my fear that he held some level of

power over how far we could physically get from him. Then I thought of Justins license. What were the odds? Santa Fe, huh? Maybe indulging in Paulas far-fetched lead would prove worth something. I could allow Paula her hope long enough to mark witch doctor off our list of cure possibilities. And I could try to get more of Justin. Paula peered up and I could tell she knewalmostwhat I was thinking. Can we make a stop on the way? A mischievous grin spread over her angelic face. Olivia Denise Starr, you succu-bitch, spill it now. Every last detail! I let my head fall back against the sofa and covered my eyes. Oh, Paula. Hes amazing. Totally amazing. And totally leaving town this morning. Hed mumbled as much before drifting off, his arms and legs binding our bodies. Probably getting up to do exactly that, as we speak. Amazing, huh? Well, Im completely jealous, in more ways than one. I wasnt sure how serious she was between the possessive light in her eyes and the playful grin. Come on, dont be jealous. Ill try. You have to admit, if you did feel like that about me, it could be the answer to everything. Wed danced around this point enough times for me to know to tread carefully. You know I think youre amazing, Paula. And, yeah, it might make it easy. Or it might make it worse. Feeding off each other. I know, I know. Youre right. And besides, Im over you. She winked, swept her gaze over me. Mostly. Theres someone out there who will complete you, Paula. I wanted to be sure of it. I feared Paula had found a best friend crush sort of love that would never go away for her. She rolled her eyes and did a duck hand my way. Yeah, yeah. I let it go, recognizing the glassy sheen in her eyes. The umpteen hour drive wasnt bad. I stopped mentally freaking about the whole thing, leaving succubus territory a few miles after the state line. Winter was definitely the time of year to go. Arizona was breathtaking and I wished we had a convertible instead of a sedan, luxurious as Paulas Mercedes 7 series might be. Thankfully, her monthly trust fund check deposited in time for us to cash in. I called in sick for the week, but doubted Id have a Hobby Lobby job when I got back. Too bad. Id kind of started to like the place. Id never been the crafty type, but being surrounded by mostly women, mostly older, in a completely nonsexual environment had been a nice break from the norm. Vera, Opal, and the rest would have to soldier on without me. How exactly are you going to bump into Justin? Paula said the first afternoon as we pulled out of a pit stop in Sedona, Arizona. My fantasy picture of the old man chanting around a moonlit fire evaporated. I stared at the hills that looked like giant red rocks sprinkled in powdered, sugary snow. I have no idea whatsoever. How big is Santa Fe? Too big to randomly bump, thats fo sho. I ran a hand through my wind-blown hair. The dry air smelled like dust and sage and pine. Internet search? Yellow pages? Why dont you try calling him back? He hasnt called, thats why. Oh. She winced. Sorry. Thought he had. She let the sounds from the open window fill the car. But its only been, what, a day? Yeah. Didnt help. If he was interested, Justin would have called all day yesterday. Least thats

what my brain kept yelling. We can stalk him. Itll be fun. I nodded. He was leaving. So maybe he had a lot to do. Maybe there was a layover or, I dont know, shit happened. Yeah. I could call. First, Id let myself get there. And let myself plan what to say to this supposed witch doctor. Paula would hand over four credit cards to the nearest guy with a stick. Id need proof of real magic. What would we do if this wasand it most likely wasanother dead end? God, I prayed it wasnt. Seventeen years is nowhere near as long as most have lived with this curse. Paula was going on fortysomething. But it was wearing on my heart and my soul. Much as I adored Paula, I did not want to spend a near eternity with her. ~ Chapter Six A light dusting of snow lay on the Santa Fe streets. Pine was pungent in the air. Christmas would be here soon. Alejandro De Santos was far too easy to find. Too easy for this to be a good lead. As we stomped our feet off in the chiropractic office waiting room, my stomach twisting into tangles, all I could think of was chopping Paulas hair off in her sleep. Better yet, going back to that club, finding that stupid redhead, and shaving her bald. Hey, it is a doctors office, Paula said, picking up a magazine. Sort of. I didnt trust myself to speak lest I lose it, attack her like a rabid hyena, and land us both ass first in the county jail. Were here. If he isnt, he isnt. We have to ask. Paula was being calm and levelheaded. I hated it. The receptionist smiled warmly at me as I returned the clipboards. Back pain. Whatever. You two would like to go in together? the receptionist asked, sounding far less skeptical than I would have. Yes, Paula said, brushing at invisible lint on her slacks from her seat. I didnt know she even owned slacks. My jeans pinched at my hips and waist as I returned to sit next to her. I tried to empty my mind of all the thoughts hammering my brain. But I couldnt. Justin. Seth. Paula. Jimi Gale. From one heartache to the next, my mind ricocheted, making the time inch by. Olivia Starr? Paula St. James? A woman in Tigger scrubs held the door for us as we filed past, paused, then followed. She led us to an exam room and took our vitals. Back pain? I nodded. Sort of. Tigger chick quirked an eyebrow up. She means were actually hoping to talk to the doctor himself is all. Its a unique issue, you see. Tigger left and Paula thumped my thigh with her fist. I prepared myself to be escorted out by an authority. Hey! I rubbed my leg, thwacking her arm. That hurt. Before she could retaliate, the door opened. Dr. Alejandro Santos, I presumed. My libido purred to life. Antonio Banderas had nothing on this exquisite specimen of Latin love. I wasnt the only one who noticed. I could almost feel the change in Paula. And men were not her type. Ms. St. James. Ms. Starr. Youre both experiencing back pain?

Paula plunged in. A redhead named Gigi, though I dont think thats her real name, gave me your name as a doctor who can help the strange and unusual. Man, she could make her voice sultry when she wanted to. Dr. Santos eyes flashed, whether from what she said or how she said it, I couldnt be sure. What strange and unusual ailments are you considering? Im assuming you mean more than back pain. Paula flashed a knowing smile. Do you know what a succubus is, doctor? His cherry brown eyes narrowed the slightest bit. He took a seat. Gigi was her name? Paula nodded. Realizing my mouth was hanging open, I snapped it closed. Ill need to do some bloodwork on each of you. Though he addressed Paula, he looked at both of us in turn. Depending on each strain, there may be options. Im not saying I can cure the problem. But there may be ways to manage the symptoms. My hopes did a strange sort of sag that I didnt comprehend. This was good news. He was an actual witch doctor, so to speak. He seemed familiar with what we were. Yet, something inside of me was disappointed. Maybe because he didnt say cure. Maybe because I was growing to identify with what I was. Both possibilities left me agitated. Can love cure it? I blurted out, interrupting Paulas stream of questions that I hadnt really heard. Dr. Santos leveled his gaze at me. I cant say it couldnt. I can only say I havent seen it happen. But then, I also dont know how many of my patients have tried. Most are amenable to living with their condition, managing it. How many of us are there? I dont know. Ive conducted studies and treatment on around fifty over the span of ten years. Any we knew? Asking seemed like it would tempt fate. Instead, I stood up and strode to the far wall. I leaned against it. Paula ignored my reaction and continued her Q&A. I blocked out the noise of her voice and the scene I found myself in. I focused my efforts on breathing in and out, controlling the anger climbing inside of me. Anger would exhaust me and deplete the reserves being with Justin had given me. Knowing that didnt stop me from feeling pretty ticked off. Fuck, I missed him. And that was bad. I wanted him. More than that. I really liked him. And I might never see him again. The hollow feeling within me was expanding. The longing for him, his touch, his scent, the specific flavor of his attentions. I craved it. I need to get some air, I said. Paula and Dr. Santos paused, nodded. I left. I walked out into the desert air. The cool breeze fingered through my hair. I squatted and gulped the coolness into my lungs. My eyes stung. I reached for my phone and dialed Justins number. A motorcycle roared down the street. Hearing the ringing on the other end, I straightened up and wiped my face. Hi, youve reached Justin. I cant answer the phone and if youre calling my old number I hung up. What the hell would I say? Of course, now hed show a missed call from me and what had his outgoing message said? Screw it. I redialed. I listened. my old number, its going to change. L.A., baby. Shit. Beep. Hey handsome. Its Liv. So, LA, huh? Nice. Still Vegas for me. Well, except for the next few days. Road trip to New Mexico. Anyhow, sorry I had to leave the other night. Paula needed me. Okay. Im babbling. Catch you later. I hung up and smacked my forehead. Damnit, Liv. Way to sound a fool. What happened to cool and intriguing? Too late now. I stared at the sky a minute, got my act together, and returned to find Dr. Santos walking Paula out. He handed her a paper. She thanked him and hooked her arm into mine, leading me to the car.

Whatd I miss? Liv Starr, you and I are going to be a-okay, chica. Now, lets find Justin. And a good gay bar. ~ Chapter Seven Justin called back. My stomach leapt up my throat, sending little tickles of adrenaline through my limbs. My hands shook. I set down my Corona and answered. Hey, sexy, Justin said. I got your message. How are you? Better yet, where are you? I chuckled, that exquisite feeling that trails possibility lighting through me. Where are we again, Paula? I ran my hand over my knee. Pinkies. Paula grinned from ear to ear. And not a single beauty in sight. I ignored her, but apparently, Justin couldnt. Pinkies? he asked. I suppose Paula had said the name loud enough. But my stomach wound up. Yeah. This bar we found. More Paulas flavor than mine, I said, all at once jumping to the conclusions that he might be jumping to as well. Was I gay? Was I with Paula? What are you up to? Sounded too casual. Forced. Damn it. Just pulling off the freeway, actually. Hope you have your earpiece in. I hear its a wicked fine if you get stopped talking on your cell phone in Cali. I was fishing hard. Nah. Besides, I like a little danger. No bite on the Cali bait. I scrambled through my muddled thoughts for something brilliant, something sexy to say, but my nerves were too tightly bundled. The fact that Paula kept making smoochy make-out faces at her beer, tongue and all, didnt help matters. Sorry about leaving like I did. Dont worry. I actually thought you might sneak off. He paused. I heard an engine rev, some tires chirp. Its why I havent called you. I figured you needed space. Maybe you follow that whole three-day rule or whatever it is nowadays. Three-day rule? Only guys do that, I said and had to wonder why my hearts tempo went staccato. Some. The engine went quiet. Im at my stop. Can I talk to you in a minute? Paula stuck her tongue down the beers throat. Uh, yeah. Of course, I said. Absolutely. The line went dead and I dropped my head into my hand. Fuck! I totally blew it. Where the hell had my sexy gone? My cool? Straighten up and sit pretty fast, Liv. I looked up at Paula who had her eyes focused past my shoulder. If youve spotted someone you think will interest me, forget it. I dont want someone else. Good to know, a deep, masculine voice said, sending familiar shivers through me. I spun in my chair, warm in all the right places, hot in my cheeks. Justin! Hey, you. He sidled up to the high top table, introducing himself to Paula. She gave me that telling look of friends in the know the world over. I couldve kicked her under the table. So, what brings you two out to Santa Fe, aside from stalking me? I choked on my gulp of beer, spewing it over the table. I tried to explain, but the words came out as coughing nonsense. My throat burned. I had a job offer and Liv came out with me to check it out, Paula said. Oh? And? How do you like it?

My body grew hyperaware of him. The warmth of his shoulder touching mine. His cologne mingled with the scent of his essence. The way, inch by inch, he seemed to stand closer to me. Its not really my speed. I turned down the offer. Its an acquired taste. So. When are you heading back? he directed this at me, his gaze burning with intensity. Paula shrugged. Whenever. I licked my lips, tasting the lime from the beer. He watched. Unspoken questions seemed to pass between us. Was this okay that I was here? That he was? Were we scaring each other off? Or, did he get the strange feeling deep inside, too, that this might be meant to happen? Fated. I tried to shake off the silly notion. Fate didnt include digging around for a license in the dark then driving hundreds of miles to accidentally meet. But, he had said on his voicemail that hed moved. Maybe it could be that he was meant for me. Paula cleared her throat, making it obvious Justin and I had been doing little more than staring into each others eyes, grinning. Another round? she asked. Justin and I nodded and the second she left for the bar, his mouth came down on mine. His kiss was fevered and hungry. I thrilled over it. And my last worries about appearing desperate fled to the recesses of my lust-fogged mind. I didnt care any longer. He was here and he wanted me again and that was all my body and my nave heart cared about. He broke our kiss. Stay with me, he said. I nodded, my hands finding the edge of his shirt and climbing under the material. His skin was hot and smooth. The muscles twitched under my touch. I kissed him, demandingly, entwining my tongue with his, breathing in his breath. Paula returned and Justin excused himself to the restroom, though I suspected he was allowing Paula and me a moment to talk. He asked me to stay the night. Of course he did. And you should. He totally adores you, Liv. Im really glad we came, though Dr. Santos turned out to be less of an answer than Id hoped. She put her hand over mine. You should go. Ill be fine. Call me in the morning and let me know whats up, okay? Justin returned, giving me a glimpse of his swagger. My body zinged in anticipation. He returned to my side, pressing his shoulder to mine again. Youre sure? I asked, remembering the last time she said shed be fine. One hundred percent. Ill be good. Promise. Dont worry, I have something to occupy my time. It was then that I remembered I hadnt asked her about the paper Dr. Santos had handed her. Id meant to. Despite not wanting to hear any more bad news, or long shots, Id told myself Id at least find out what had occurred after Id walked out. Justin moved to leave. I hesitated. As if she could see my thoughts, Paula shook her head. Liv, itll wait. He wont. Twenty minutes later, Justin walked me through his high-rise condo. Im beginning to suspect that driver wasnt Garettes at all. Justin chuckled, tugging me along by the hand. Nah. It was his. Dont be fooled. Its just stuff. It isnt what really matters. Yeah. Its nice stuff. Expensive stuff. The view alone should require payment. The city lights blossoming to life as the sun set, staining the sky in molten golds and ruddy pinks. Impressed? Intimidated? His tone was joking, but something in his expression told me my answer mattered. I shrugged. It could be a shack. His broad smile expressed how much he liked my answer. My chest tingled with happiness. My heart

clutched. The lust climbed. I wanted him and now it went beyond the physical. I wanted to see that smile over and over again. He pulled me close, dimmed his bedroom light so that the tall window view of lights became our light. He undressed me slowly, letting his fingers tickle my skin. Then he undressed himself. I soaked in the long, lean muscled picture he presented. Small fears whispered through me. Fear I wouldnt get to keep him. Fear he couldnt love me. Fear distance would bar us from becoming more. I quashed them easily, the beast of my lust taking hold and caring for little else. I went to my knees, my mouth salivating at the sight of his big cock. He stopped me, pulling me to my feet. This time, I get to drive. I tipped my head. Oh? He winked as he put me onto the bed and retrieved a length of satiny material. He tied me up. Dont worry. I know exactly where Im going. My hands bound above my head, Justin parted my legs and positioned between them. The wicked look in his eyes sent tremors of delight through me. Uh-oh, I said. You look like you have something planned. Wouldnt you like to know. Yes! But no. Though my imagination did somersaults through porn paradise, I loved the mystery. Am I being punished? Nope, he said and trailed his fingers down my legs to the tips of my toes. No hints. He picked one foot up and glanced over it, appreciation shining in his eyes. You have gorgeous feet. Anyone ever tell you that? A small pang ran through my chest. My mom never gave me one of those birds and bees talks. She sat me down and said, Liv, honey, always paint your toenails. Feet say a lot about a woman. Make yours pretty. He chuckled. Smart mom. He brought my toes to his lips and kissed each one. The tickle wasnt enough to make me giggle. Instead it sent a frisson up the back of my leg. I kept my breathing and gaze steady. Desire made his eyelids heavy, made the blue orbs darker. I nodded. She was a good mom. His tongue flicked out, licking between two toes. A shock of delight ran up my thighs. I gasped. What are we going to do about this, Liv? I wet my lips, mesmerized by his mouth. About what? He took two middle toes into his mouth and rolled his tongue over them, gently sucking. I closed my eyes, my head fell back. God that felt exquisite. How had I never had my toes kissed before? Justin stopped. I opened my eyes. Whats wrong? His wicked grin grew wider. Keep watching me. The low, sexy words poured a new layer of desire over my senses, drenching me in pure lust. My hungry libido languorously ate up each detail. I obeyed his command and watched. He moved to my other foot, laving his tongue over my toes and arch in twisting patterns. Every erotic lick and touch pushed reality farther away. His attentions moved up to my ankle, then the back of my knee. By the time he got halfway up my thigh, I was a bundle of desire, ready to burst, and he stopped. You closed your eyes, he softly scolded. And you havent answered my question. I forced my eyes not to roll back as he returned to nuzzle my inner thigh. What was the question again? He nipped me. Bad girl. Not paying attention. I moaned, writhing. Trying to get my aching pussy closer to his mouth. He only grinned that delectable naughty boy grin of his and waited. I fought to recall what hed asked. Oh, the what shall we do one. The

memory must have registered on my face because he nodded. So, Liv, whats your answer? The talking and the waiting that normally would have ebbed my desire, only made it flood over. I nudged him upward, trying to tangle my legs around him and coax him closer. He laughed. Justin, youre killing me. Please. I wrestled with the restraints to no avail and the fact that hed done such a good job titillated me further. He slowly licked up my leg, past the midpoint, closer and closer and I struggled against the urge to shut my eyes and buck my hips. His eyes held to mine and I saw something fierce, something beyond want, burning in them. He wanted my answer. I want you, I said and I meant more than the primal lust coursing through my limbs, clouding my thoughts. I want more. And I dont know what were going to do about this, but I know I want more. I swallowed back the lump forming in my throat. More of you. He didnt smile. He didnt blink. But the change in his expression spoke volumes. Good. My reward was his mouths slow descent upon my aching, wet pussy. The heat and softness of his tongue made me jerk. His hands lifted my legs, thumbs edging so close to where his mouth traced circles spiraling inward toward the core of my sex, where desire beat hot and hard and ready to explode. Justin moved to my clit, suckling it into his mouth, releasing it with loud wet sounds that drove my head back and my hips up. I didnt care. I couldnt keep watching. The pleasure was like a current pulling my attention under. But he stopped again and I had to. Watch me, baby. I want to see it in your eyes when you cum in my mouth. I half gasped, half yelped. His damned voice was so freaking sensual and, combined with the possessive light in his eyes, I was lost to reason. His mouth and eyes had enslaved me. Say please, he whispered, bringing his finger to my trembling portal. Please, I breathed. I want you, too, he said. I want more, too. His finger stroked into my hot flesh. Dont be scared. I wasnt. Was I? He drew his finger out. Back in, driving sure swift pleasure into me. How could I be scared of this? My hunger near replete, my heart near spinning, my hopes high. He could be the one. What would I ever be scared of? Somewhere deep down the answer hid. But I was lost to pure, sweet sensation. Justin paused before I climaxed only long enough to slip his big cock into my swollen pussy. His mouth came down hard on mine. I returned his kiss with equal fervor, wobbling on the edge of oblivion. With one hand, he untied mine and pulled my arms over his head. Again and again, he drove into me. I shut my eyes and cried out against his neck. Oh, God, Justin. Yes. Oh, God, yes. He held me to him, his flesh buried into mine, and circled his hips, winding my climax into an explosion so bone-deep I thought I might die. Justins version of Heaven had barely opened up, though. He waited for me to come down from my cloud, raining kisses on my neck and cheeks. Then began again. Slow, methodically paced thrusts. Twisting me into another vortex of need. Justin, I moaned, needing more, but unable to quite articulate what exactly. Justin, please. My climax hovered on the brink begging for something more. Tell me, baby, he said, his mouth near my ear. Fuck me like you mean it, I said. An image of Justin flashed in my head. Him toying with a gold band, a heart-shaped emerald between two hands. He twisted it in his hands, fit it to the first knuckle of his pinky, then took it off. I blinked. The real Justin filled my vision. He leaned up, leaned my legs against his shoulders and slammed into me. Oh, fuck, yes. I watched hungrily as his head fell back. I witnessed the second he lost control and fell into pure sensation. His cock

grew bigger and, as my body spasmed in pleasure, his throbbed. He collapsed onto me, satiated. Oh, Liv, he said, moving to my side, sounding sleepy. Where have you been all my life? My lusts appetite appeased, his words should have filled me up with hope and confidence. Instead, a thick knot of worry tied around my heart. Careful what you wish for. I thought of Seth, of how deeply Id hurt him. I thought of Paula, curled up like a child on our sofa, sweating, shaking. I should have stayed in the room with her and Dr. Santos. I should have heard him out. Maybe then I wouldnt feel so scared over what would happen the moment Justin woke up. What would I do now? ~ Chapter Eight Justin kissed my forehead, waking me. I blinked my eyes, adjusting to the dim room. I sat up. Wakey, wakey, Liv, he said, pulling me to my feet. What time is it? I should call Paula. I should get out of here. Which was a crazy urge. I liked him. He liked me. What was I scared of? Early, he said and led me out of his bedroom. Handing me an evergreen robe and too-big-for-me socks, his impish smile made my belly flip over. What are you up to? He put his finger to my lips. A bundle tucked under one arm, ducking his head out his front door, he checked the hallway. Okay. All clear. I couldnt resist giggling as he snuck me up a flight of metal stairs and retrieved a key from above the doorjam. You know you sleep like a ballerina? he said. I scrunched my face in doubt. A ballerina, I was not. Too short, too curvy. Hands above your head, one leg posed like youre about to pirouette. Better than snoring, I supposed. Or drooling. He stopped at a door marked EXIT. I had an idea of where we were headed, but couldnt ruin it for him. The sparkle in his eyes was too cute. Close your eyes, he said. Reluctantly, I did. A few steps later, my socked feet cold from the frost covered concrete, Justin steered me to a stop. He wrapped his arms around me, the afghan around our bodies, and whispered in my ear, Open them. Mandarin and marigold blazed the morning sky as the sun peeked over a distant, white-tipped, mountain range. My heartbeat quickened. Id seen few things in my life as breathtaking, let alone shared one with someone. Im going to miss this so much, Justin said. I cant tell you how many times Ive come up here just to watch the sun paint the sky. This where you take all your girls? The words were out before I thought of what I was asking. Jealousy does not become me. Or any girl after the long term. Why did I keep breaking my own rules with him? And why wasnt it damaging my chances? He only laughed. Loads of them. Its my play. Dinner, play my soundtrack, love in an alleyway, then sunrise in my arms. Wow. Youre a master. Dont forget the car and driver. He tensed. You know that was a joke, right, Liv? Ive never brought anyone up here. Part of me wished he had. What was wrong with me? He was everything I wanted. Sweet, sexy, a voice that touched my soul, a body that fed me so well. Yet, my fear of getting hurt climbed. I felt too

damned vulnerable to his charms, which made little sense. I wanted him to fall for me, didnt I? I didnt answer and he didnt press, but something in his demeanor changed. Once I was able to meet his eyes, he gave me a quizzical look. Coffee? I asked, pulling the robe tighter. I didnt actually care about coffee. I cared about getting back downstairs and down to my purse. I cared about getting a hold of Paula so I could get out of here. Any more of this and Id be spilling sonnets. After a moment, Justin nodded. His quick smile didnt reach his eyes. But he took me back to his condo. As he set to filling the coffeemaker, I dug out my phone and took it to the bathroom. Paula answered on the first ring. Liv? Hey, howd it go? All filled up? Yeah, yeah. Good. Did you find anything out? Sort of. What do you mean sort of? Either you did or didnt. There was a pause. Youre going to want to hear it in person. I didnt need another word of encouragement. I jammed back into my clothes and downed a cup of coffee. So, Paula needs me for an appointment. Shes on her way. Everything okay? Oh, sure. Just a chiropractor, actually. But, she cant drive afterward. Impressive little fib that was true, too. Kind of. I guess Ill talk to you later? Justin said as I adjusted my bag over my shoulder. Yes. I gave him a quick kiss and wave, then hurried for the elevator. The metal doors shut on the vision of him leaning against the frame, a sober look on him that spoke volumes. Wed shared more than sex this time. In fact, if I didnt know better, Id say I was leaving with a part of him inside of me. More than the lust I fed off of. Him. Something deep and intangibly Justin. Paula was sitting in the idling car outside. I hopped in. Alright. Tell me. She shifted into drive and said, Looks like you were right all along. What do you mean? Love. Real love is the one thing that can cure our condition. My heart sank. You couldnt say that over the phone? That, sure. The thing is, the real love acting as a cure goes a bit differently than I thought. Or than you thought. I ran a hand through my hair, irritated. Different how? Well, for starters, I dont think youve ever actually been in love. Of course Ive been in love. I loved Seth. I loved Benjamin, Jared, every relationship Ive been in all the way back to before loving Jimi. Dont kill the messenger. Im only telling you what Dr. Santos said. He needs your bloodwork this morning, by the way, so were going there now. Good. I could ask him what the hell Paula meant because she wasnt relating it well at all. He already did yours? Uh-huh. According to his tests, Ive never loved, which I know, I know, doesnt surprise you, but it did surprise me. I thought I had. How can whether you have been in love be tested, Paula? I think this doctor is taking us for a ride. I should have known. Whoa. Whats got you so bah-jigetty? Im not bah-jiggety. Im irritated. We drove how many miles? And for what? Lets just go home. Paula wagged her finger above the steering wheel before merging into freeway traffic. Youre scared. Of Justin. You really like this one, dont you? Of course I like him. I need that part, remember?

No, theres more to it. He really likes you, too. Did he say he loves you? No. And he wouldnt have to. Id be able to feel it. Im having a hard time this time, okay? Is it the hunger? Is he not enough? No, okay? Look, I dont know what it is. Maybe I already love him, I dont know. All I do know is I feel like a brown bunny in a blanket of white snow. I wanted to tell her about the weird images. About a bone-deep feeling of missing some important clue I didnt know how to articulate, either. Sometimes, I wished I had more succubus experience. Enough to see a feed, see attraction auras. Maybe then this feeling could be explained. She pulled the car into the strip mall parking lot and put the car in park. This could be good. Really good. I told you I didnt want to come here, Paula. Save your money. Im sure whatever he did for you will be Stop! I dont care if you believe in it or not. Dr. Santos showed me, okay? He showed me how love can change blood at a cellular level and you will do this. You will do this because I am asking you to. Dead end, false hope, snake oil, or not. You will do it. If you cant do it for you, do it for me. My pulse slammed. Paula got out and came around to my side. She opened my door, reached in, and undid my seatbelt. She reached her hand out for me to take. You dont owe me a thing, Liv. I owe you a lot. But I swear, if you dont do this, you are on your own. Well, since she put it that way, what choice did I have? I faked getting out, snatched the keys from her hand, and scrambled into the drivers seat. The tires screeched and smoked as I reversed, then peeled out onto the street. Someone honked. My heart felt like it was beating in my brain. In the rearview mirror, Dr. Santos stepped out of the office front door. The stricken look on Paulas face would be branded on my memory for the rest of my days. At least, thats how it went down in my imagination. In reality, Paula deftly dodged my reach, laughed, and glared all at once. Alright! You win. I got out of the car and followed her inside. How does a chiropractor have access to bloodwork? I mean, it isnt like a regular doctors office. Id rather see some weird carved sticks than a lab. I dont know. You should ask him, she said, sarcasm dripping as she knocked on the glass door. The office isnt even open? And to think, I almost brought you a Starbucks. Ouch. You should have. Id be less bitchy. No, you wouldnt and besides, shockingly enough, I couldnt find one. Dr. Santos appeared behind the glass without the white lab coat; he looked far too normal for comfort. Not a wrinkle in sight. Nothing like I imagined. Or hoped. But, for the first time, I could sense the witch in the doctor. A few cursory greetings later, he led us to a back room. He washed his hands, then proceeded to draw my blood into a small plastic vial as well as any nurse ever had. Paula kept the small talk up, filling my silence. He motioned us again to follow him. I found myself in a chilly room lined with industrial refrigerators and a countertop laden with microscopes and slides. He sandwiched a blot of my blood between glass and examined it under a microscope. The smell of sterile metal heightened my slight queasiness. It was nerves, I knew. Paula gave me one of those this is it kind of looks. The verdict. Interesting, Dr. Santos murmured. What? I asked. After another eternity of a moment, he backed up and gestured for me to look. I did and had no idea

whatsoever what I was looking for. Then he showed me a comparison. This is uninfected blood. This is yours. Again. Mine. Others. Mine. Others. Infected. Not infected. Yeah. I could see it. But seeing a difference didnt tell me what that difference signified. Great. So succubus blood looks different. As does any infected humans blood. The way he said infected implied he meant far more than HIV or Hepatitis C. I didnt want to know. Paula said love changed the cells. He nodded, retrieved another set of slides, and let me look. Approximately. This is Paulas blood. See the dense area at the center of each cell? Not really. Now, this is Paulas blood blotted while she concentrated on someone who she deeply loves. It all looked the same to me. I backed away from the microscope. I thought you were supposed to be some sort of witch doctor, I said, ignoring Paulas warning look. Dr. Santos gave a small laugh. Witch doctor? No. Not exactly. My grandfather was a shaman and while my heritage supports belief in a shamanic tradition that magic is inherited, I prefer a more scientific approach. The thing was, he had all the props, but I didnt buy it. I dont see any difference in any of the slides youve shown me. I do. Paula stepped between me and the doctor, her glare speaking volumes. I see it and his theory, if youd like to actually listen to it, makes sense to me. Convenient. I shrugged. Can I listen someplace warmer? Someplace that has coffee? Dr. Santos agreed to meet us at the nearest Dunkin Donuts. What is your deal? Paula said, backing the car up. Nothing. You cant blame me for being skeptical. No, I cant. But I am surprised. His theory actually falls right in line with yours. Only a little more in depth. How in depth? I wont begin to try to explain. One, you wont believe me. Two, Ill probably screw a part up. I exhaled loudly and flipped on the radio. Smoothing back my hair, I closed my eyes and tried to relax. I knew I was overreacting. A few deep breaths would certainly get me back to my normal, rational, optimistic self. The music helped. I loved U2. Especially this song. Id never heard the acoustic version, either. Had I? In fact, weirdly, it was familiar. Oh, yeah. Justin had performed it at Java Jungle, his voice even more melodic thanwait a minute. I opened my eyes and reached to turn it up. Paula got there first, switching the station. Hey! What? I cant stand U2. My heart beat harder. That wasnt U2. Shit. I hit each numbered button. Heavy metal, pop, country. Shit, shit, shit. My mind rapidly puzzled the pieces together. The car, the driver, the suite. His condo. Why would he go to an open mic night? No. It couldnt be. I was getting a little crazy over him, scared that things were going too easily, that he liked me so readily. That my lust might already be hooked on him. If no one else would do, rejection could put me into who knew what kind of pain and withdrawal. I hit scan, crossing my fingers that the song wouldnt be over. What the hell would a guy like that do with someone like me? A succubus. A nobody. Paula pulled to a stop, eyeing me warily. Im the neurotic one, remember, Liv? I gave up. She was right. I had to pull it together. The smell of donuts filled the narrow caf. I focused on coffee and the good doctor, or fake, whatever the truth might be.

Something as big as my paranoid mind was making that song into his voice. Justin would have told me. Granted, we hadnt had a lot of get-to-know-you time, but one did not skip big shit like, by the way, Im a rock star. Right? ~ Chapter Nine The key may be in telling a humanthe hostthe truth, Dr. Santos said, stirring a fifth packet of sugar into his coffee. Did you know that a cells atomic weight lightens when in the presence of the act of forgiveness? We respond to energetic frequencies at the cellular level. I wished he had brought the lab coat. Or a spare microscope. His scientific breakdown didnt go over as well without the props. Still, I listened as he continued about cells and chemicals and energies. Okay. So, what youre saying is, real love suppresses the libido, overriding the lust chemicals with love chemicals Access areas, as well, each temporal lobe in relation to the pre-frontal I put my hand up. Sorry, all the terminology gets me dizzy. I wasnt stupid, but the coffee hadnt helped my patience. At all. It may have made it worse. Withdrawals were knocking on my cellar door. Not good. The chemicals override. But to sustain the effects, the love must be real, mutual, and in order to stay in the love is blind zone, youre saying we have to then tell our true loves what we are? According to three separate studies, trust is one of the key factors in a couple staying blind to the others faults, which thereby keeps them in love, producing strong love chemicals tapped into the most primal parts of your brain. Now, as you know, you each demonstrate different strains, if you will, of the succubus condition. This is due to ruling hormones which impact personality. Paula, for instance. Her dominant hormone, the hormone which most impacted her brain development and its chemistry, is testosterone, lending a more adventurous and spontaneous personality. Her compatible partner will have a similar. I completely tuned out. Id begun imagining how that conversation would go, insert Justin, or Seth, or any other love of my life. None went well. Not even Jimi, and he knew what he was, hence what hed made me. His scenario was the worst, in fact. Jimi wouldve found all this funny. In that charming way of his, hed have laughed, making me laugh at myself, neither of us able to take any of it seriously. Paula would get pissed and just like the old days, our three-way friendship would be cleaved. I had loved Jimi in a way, in the beginning. A young, crushing kind of love. Obvious reasons aside, I was still glad we never worked out. Those damned U2 lyrics began repeating in my head. you say you want your story to remain untold. All the promises we break from the cradle to the grave and all I want is you. Where was Justin right now? When are we leaving town? I asked, then realized Id interrupted. Sorry. I wandered a bit. Paula clearly could have killed me, but Dr. Santos simply smiled. No need to apologize. I recognized the symptoms when you came in yesterday. Your condition is phasing. Reciprocation is a tricky solution and theory at this point. Whoever he isor sheI recommend you locate your new host soon. If the virus mutates, your needs will worsen. New host? Ew! I wasnt a leech sucking Justin dry. Was I? I think wed better go, Paula said. If I was nothing more than some leech and he stopped wanting me, what would I then become? I hadnt

felt like this before. This vulnerable hope and fear. Dr. Santos didnt argue or look in the least bit offended as Paula helped me up and led me outside to the car. Talk to me, Liv. Youre sheet white and freaking me the fuck out. Youre freaking? Im freaking. How am I supposed to keep seeing Justin if hes nothing more than my host. And what happens if I do and he gets suffocated, like any normal guy would, when I cant get enough of him unless and until he falls in love with me and I become this desperate stalker Stop, Liv. Really. Youre not making sense, okay? She drove fast, heading where I needed to go. I knew hed be there, too. Waiting for me. If you need to feed, feed. Worry about the love part after. God, it sounded so exploitive, so violating I hated it. I missed normal so badly. Boy meets girl, boy courts girl. Passing notes in class. Texting from the club. I was sick of being twenty-five, perpetually needing to fuck the daylights out of the next hot sucker. No. That wasnt fair. I liked the lust, too. I liked how it tasted, how feeding filled me with ecstatic glow. Too much. But the lust meant destroying someone I loved, every time. And each time killed a part of who I was with it. I was losing the Olivia in me. My humanity. Paula parked. Go. Dont worry about me. Words couldnt say how grateful I was and, thankfully, I knew she understood. After a quick hug, I got out and hurried up the three flights to Justins door. I knocked. My thighs ached. My breasts ached. Shirtless and tousled, he answered. He didnt speak and he didnt smile. I didnt care. I strode forward and kissed him hard on the mouth. He pulled me in, shut the door, and pushed me up against it. His hands found my titties and grabbed them hard. I inhaled his scent, sharp pleasure igniting my wakening lust. My fears and hopes evaporated under the dense fog of want. Justin broke our kiss and flipped me around. He pulled off my shirt and positioned my hands high on the door. I shut my eyes, breathless. His hands trailed down my arms, over my shoulders, leaving exquisite shivers in their wake. Slippery wet heat gathered down south. His heavy breaths tickled my neck as he leaned his body to mine. Skin on skin, I arched into him. His hands came around my belly, opened my jeans and yanked them down my legs. Quick, hot kisses rained over my back. Justin moved lower and lower, stopping once my jeans reached my knees. With a quick flick, he tore my panties off. He licked and sucked my cheeks, gripping each in his hands. He spanked me. Hot sting rippled over my ass. I gasped. He rubbed the smart away. I got wetter. Standing, Justin unhooked my bra and shoved his hands under the material. I moaned in relief, shaking my bra off to fall to the floor. His touch cooled the fever building within me, yet stoked the fire of my need. I could hear the rustle of his jeans and knew hed shoved them down. The swollen tip of his cock pressed my cheeks. None too gently, he pulled my hips closer. I bent further, raising on my toes, hoping hed drive right into me. Fucking tease! He pulled back slightly so that instead, his cock slid the length of my pussy, gliding in my moisture, back and forth, driving me insane with want. I whimpered, trying to angle the tip into me. My hunger grew so bad. If he didnt give me what I needed, I might have tried to take it. Maybe he sensed my desperation. Maybe he felt it, too. His hands grasping my bouncing titties; he stuck his prick deep inside my sex. I cried out. Pleasure sparkled through me with a measure of relief. My lust fed fast and hard, devouring the nourishment every glorious stroke poured into me. My veins pounded. My chest lightened. Justin teased his thumbs over my hard nipples and softly bit my shoulder. Then he kissed it. Fast and hard became slow and deep. He moved his hips so that his dick twirled a dance inside of me. He released

one breast and found my clit. He pressed his palm to it and matched the circular motion of his hips, but in the opposite direction. Even if the idea had occurred to me to wait, to prolong this bliss, I couldnt stop from cumming. I cried out again and again as my muscles clenched around his thick flesh, then I felt him throbbing, too. A new image came and I knew it would this time. Justin, young, in a hammock with a girl with bright red hair, holding hands, looking up at stars. The image nearly choked me, it felt almost like my own. I could smell the grass, the soap in the girls hair, the rapid heartbeat of first love. Justin whispered my name near my ear in a low keen, bringing me back to the room. He kissed my neck and held me close, easing from my body. Liv. Again. Softer. Sweeter. My heart broke wide open. Liv. Love. The curse within me sighed in euphoric contentment. The rest of me nearly did, too. Nearly. Before I could let my heart run reckless and free, I had to know. The notes in my name on his lips couldnt be ignored. Justin pulled back and brought me around into his arms. He didnt say a word and I allowed myself one more moment there. One perfect moment where possibility lit the dark corners. He kissed my forehead. I met his gaze. It was guarded. You came back, he said. It took me a second to understand his meaning. I had to meet with Paula. Listen, Justin? I stepped back so I could fully see his face. I need to ask you something. He nodded and something about the way he moved warned me, he already knew what I would ask. I heard a song on the radio, I said. He didnt look away. He only slowly blinked. I thought you might. Eventually. I swallowed. Least he wasnt denying it. How big is it? Cocking his head a little, he shrugged. Its in the early stages, but everyone seems to think itll get pretty big. The car? He walked to the sofa, unselfconscious of his nudity. I couldnt help it. I drank in the way he moved and the contours of his body. Garettes with the label. That weekend in Vegas was a bit of a courtship. The CD? Artists hes worked with. A sales pitch. Thats not why I played it, though. Good pitch. I leaned back against the door. My hair tickled my bare back when I shook my head. You should have told me. Before Id gotten in so deep. I didnt want you to see me as that. He steepled his hands together. Its funny how life works that way. Fate hands you what you always wanted, then something you never knew you might need. His eyes searched mine. Its what I am, have been for as long as I can remember. I can tell. I wanted to move, but my legs wouldnt go. Your voice is amazing. He looked away, bashful. Thanks. I clasped my hands behind me. How mad are you? he asked. It isnt about not telling me, I said, though I couldnt help feeling bizarrely betrayed. I get that. In a way, I kind of like that I didnt know. I got to see you for you. But, you have to understand I know. I do. Its a lifestyle and a whirlwind. Its a ride you arent interested in hitching on. Pain rang in his words. I never wanted an unreliable kind of relationship. You know? Im not one of those guys who loves em and leaves em. But how can I ask a person to be there for me, no matter what, so Ill never wonder if in the morning Ill wake up with them gone? I nodded, swiping my eyes. I got it. Maybe I wasnt the reliable kind of love. Reliable. Right. No

skipping out. I half shrugged. Thats not what I meant. I mean, with the crazy career it looks like Im getting pulled into, he said, pausing. How do you ask someone for normal if you cant offer it yourself? I didnt know what to say. Theres so much I want to tell you. Its like I can feel you about to run. And I want you to stay. Theres this world of emotion inside my chest that I wish I could show you, but I think that will send you running faster. My eyes stung. I fought to steady my choked breathing. To calm the riot in my chest. He tugged on his jeans, zipped them and shoved his hands into the pockets. They hung low, showing off the deep ridge of each hip muscle tapering down. And then theres part of me screaming that Ill regret not saying something. Justin came to me. He cupped my face and looked into my eyes. Maybe I dont have to tell you. He didnt. I could feel it, too. I could sense it in the change of my hunger, the nature of my repletion. The way I suddenly felt whole, even if temporarily. How was I supposed to keep this? Fate was a cruel, bitter cunt. A relationship with a regular guy challenged me enough. I could only imagine how much more difficult fame would make love. Then factor in what Dr. Santos had theorized. Impossible. Completely impossible. Love plus honesty. How could I ever tell him what I am? I love you and by the way, I also feed off of you like a sexual leech. Oh, no, not crazy. Prove it? Uh, yeah, cant. Sorry. I put my clothes on. I needed to get out of there. I needed to think. Were driving back today, I said. Justin nodded. I have a flight out to L.A. tonight. Fly safe, I guess, I said. He pulled me close and kissed me hard. Not goodbye, okay? Not yet. Okay? If I only get days or weeks. Ill take it. You know that, right? I couldnt meet his eyes. I knew thered be so much hope and love shining in them that Id tip off the precipice and into his arms, a love-lost fool. A succubus couldnt run pell mell into the oblivion. Paula had shown me that many times over. Justin could so easily be my overdose. I hugged him tight instead, nodding, memorizing his scent and the feel of his arms around me. Then I left. I could feel him watching me from the open door as I made my way down stairs that blurred from fat, popping tears. Paula was still in the car, chatting on her phone. Thank God, I still had her. And always would. She hung up and squeezed my knee, but didnt ask. I blew my nose as she hit the freeway. My phone rang. I picked it up, clearing my throat. Justins name wasnt what showed on my screen, though. Seths did. ~ Chapter Ten Maybe we should get matching tattoos to commemorate the occasion, Paula said. To commemorate what, exactly? I said, breaking my three-hour silence. The trip. Progress. Im not sure Im ready to call it progress. Part of me suspected she was needling out what was really going on. Not talking wasnt helping, though. If succubus was part science, why the whole glow thing? Why was love part of my curse? How was getting more information we couldnt do anything with

progress? What if this was like some sort of HIV and couldnt be cured? If we were a sort of energy vampires, were there other breeds of it? Fear suckers? Hate suckers? Id thought myself into circles and only felt more sick and fearful. Of course its progress. We found the doctor, he knew what we were, has studied succubus or succubi or whatever were called. I mean, a regular doctor would call us crazy and send us to sex rehab. I had mixed feelings about the sign we passed. Las Vegas 58 miles. He didnt tell us anything new. He confirmed what we already knew, though, and has theories. I dont understand reciprocity, but he does. Theres more than one theory? Well, maybe. Hes working on the quantum physics of the whatever. Hell keep us posted. When did youoh. Never mind. I should have realized Paula had fed on Dr. Santos. The signs of intimacy had been there. And Paula hadnt complained once about hunger. And dont forget, too, you found Justin. Hes a rock star. And hes a rock star. Excellent. See? Progress. I wonder if theres a cool Chinese symbol we could use. I was thinking on opposite hips so that we No. I mean, hes actually a rock star. Or will be. He has a record deal and a song on the radio and everything. Paulas mouth hung open. Oh. Wow. I jogged my eyebrows up. Yeah. She twitched her mouth side to side. Okay. Another great reason. What do you think? Chinese symbol? I think I have nothing to commemorate, Paula. Thats what I think. You know what, Liv? Im done. Either spit it out and tell me what the hell is going on with you or go back to the silent treatment. As far as I can tell, you have zero to pout about. Zero? Are you kidding me? You seem to be forgetting that my particular bent of this curse needs love. And that love will eventually enslave the person I love. So, I have to go in every time knowing I will have to hurt them. I will have to leave. I dont want to love Justin. And him about to be famous only makes it that much clearer. Thats completely insane. Why does his occupation have anything to do with it? Because it reminds me of Jimi and when he first turned me. The chaos, the celebrity lifestyle. I hated it. I dont want to be under a public microscope because Im with him. That was Jimi, and being the head incubus doesnt equate to being a rock star, Liv. Try again. Its that he isnt safe. Remember Seth? Remember how scared you were to care about Seth? And then you end up breaking his heart, anyway. This isnt like with Seth, alright? And Seth will be okay. Seth will land back on his feet. His humiliation factor is nothing compared to someone who will be world famous. I crossed my arms. Get it? Paula shut her mouth for a moment. I get that youre scared. But when you allow yourself to really figure out why, I think youll see that a song on the radio has nothing to do with it. She rolled down her window. The wind whipped my hair around. You should have seen the way he looked at you. Justins nuts about you. Alejandro said real love is rare. What most of us experience is infatuation, chemicals that feel a lot like love. But arent. Reaffirming as it was of my own theory or not, her sleeping with Dr. SantosAlejandro diminished his already shaky credibility in my eyes. Shouldnt matter. Paulas needs were just as important as mine and who cared who fed her, right? Real love takes time. I dont even know Justins middle name. Thats how much conversation weve had. Thats not love.

She sighed heavily. Well, seeing Seth again wont help matters. I think its a bad idea, Liv. Said the expert of bad ideas. Yes, well, Im going to see Seth, anyway. My heart ached and my craving for more Justin would soon set its claws in me. I know how to be careful. With my lust, as well as with Seths heart. Rainbow strobes and black lights lit the bowling lanes. Eighties rock music pumped out the speakers. I hummed along to Cherry Pie by Warrant, filtering above the ring of pins and balls and gutter. I remembered carefree days from when foreplay tactics and ruling the dating game didnt dictate my life. Spotting a sliver of normal lighting, I headed to the bar where Seth agreed to meet me, missing Justin more than words could say. He hadnt called. Ten long days and nights and he hadnt called me. Of course, neither had I. Id googled him, youtubed him, found out his last name. Sharpe. My lust remained in content lassitude from our last encounter. My heart did not. It worried. I spotted Seth right away. His smile sent a ripple down my belly. He stood from the stool and embraced me into a bear hug. How could Alejandro claim Id never loved before? Even now, Seth made my chest squeeze in adoration. Not like Justin did. Nothing like he did, really, but everyone I loved affected me differently. Even Paula had admitted as much once she stopped insisting Alejandro was right. You look amazing, Seth said, releasing me so I could join him at the bar. We ordered beers. Howve you been? I took in the familiar features of his face. He looked pretty amazing, too. Good, actually. Dont take this wrong, but being single has been good for me. It shows. And dont worry, Im not insulted. He grinned sheepishly. Hurt. Wronged. But, not insulted. He chuckled. So, whats new? Or should I say, who? My chest panged. Whats that supposed to mean? You arent the kind of girl who stays single for long, Liv. Im not? I took a swig off my beer, batting my eyelashes. Okay, okay. So, Im not. But I didnt think he really wanted to know. And to be honest, I wasnt certain what the answer was. Id taken to a wait and see as to how violently my body ended up needing Justin. Dont worry, you dont have to actually tell me. He winked at me. I can see whoever he is, hes giving you something I never could. Seth, you gave me plenty. Reliable, consistent attention I wished I could still count on. I know. Im not saying anything like that. He looked thoughtful for a moment. His hands glowed in amber. That look, that glow, reminded me of when we first met. Which reminded me of how he kissed. Seth was an outstanding kisser. I uncrossed my legs, leaned forward to give him a better look down my shirt. Hey, want to see my tattoo? Tattoo? Sure. I stood up, teased my jeans open and revealed the newly inked butterfly on my hip. Seth traced a finger over the pink and violet wings. Very sexy, he said. He took his hand away fast. As though touching me burned. I let my hands linger at my zipper, drawing his eyes to my fuchsia lace panties. He tore his gaze away. Disappointed, despite knowing I couldnt take any flirting far, I sat back down. It was Paulas idea. Symbolizes metamorphosis. He picked at the label on his bottle. Not flitting away?

I winced. That bad, huh? No. Not bad. Just you being you. You know, from the very start, every day seemed like you were preparing yourself to tell me goodbye. When it finally came. Im sorry, Seth, I said, hating what I was. How could I do this to Justin? Justin who did wild things to my heart like no one ever had. Justin, who I wanted to call. Who I wanted banging down my door, demanding I choose him, forcing me to risk it all. Why was he leaving it up to me? Hey, none of that. Thats not why I asked you out. He socked me softly in the shoulder. I gulped back the ache. Oh? Why then? Hard up? I couldnt not flirt. No. His eyes met mine and I saw it before he said it. I met someone. My mouth opened, but I didnt quite have the words. Wow. Thatsthats. Fast. I know. But shes incredible. And if its weird that Im telling you, Im sorry. I didnt want you to run into us or hear something third-hand. I guess I didnt want to hurt you. No, yeah, sure. Its wonderful, Seth. Im happy for you. And thank you for telling me. I mean, I wish it could have been me, but Im also glad that we can not hate each other, too. Exactly. His smile glowed almost as much as his eyes. I never believed in that kind of thing. How can you meet someone new, and suddenly be so happy, right in the middle of a broken heart? No offense. None taken. It hurt nonetheless. Yet, I was honestly happy for him, too. I suddenly, intensely wished Id rolled the dice and told Justin everything. I wished Id told him I loved him. I wished I hadnt run. So, I said, forcing myself to smile. When do I get to meet her? ~ Chapter Eleven I tossed my cell phone onto the Hobby Lobby break room table and put my hands on my face. Justins phone number no longer worked. My heart swam in misery, I retrieved the phone, dialed it a tenth time to prove it to myself. Yep. Bad number. At some point in my remaining ten minutes of break, Opal gave my back a small rub and said something about this, too, passing. This, too, would not pass. I needed him. I loved him. And I had no clue as to how to get a hold of him. Yellow pages had no rock star listing. Paula suggested I leave a comment on his MySpace. Id settled for a not-so-easy-to-write email message. Hed yet to reply or call as Id nearly begged him to. I should have spelled it out in the email. But telling someone about love didnt belong online. Not for the first time. Not when they might balk. But how would I get to him in person? The Java Jungle manager had no information. Neither did any Santa Fe radio station. A part of me had started wondering if he existed. If it all hadnt just been a dream. Then, in the middle of ringing up four bundles of yarn and a new set of knitting needles, my craving had awakened. No doubt remained. He was the one that I wanted. And I might die a slow painful death trying to get what I wanted. Beautiful. Liv, honey, why dont you take off early today, Vera said, two hours later, likely noticing the heavy sweat I had to keep mopping off my forehead. She gently took the candles Id been stocking from my hands. You look beat. I almost refused. Home held nothing but more anxiety, more waiting. More wondering how I could find him and if I had lost him. Paula ended her phone call with a smooch sound as I trudged in our apartment door, wet from the

rain and exhausted. Guess who that was, she said, beaming. Though I knew she couldnt mean who I hoped, and pretty much anyone could earn such a reaction from her, my stomach jumped in hope. I tugged off my jacket. Justin? She had the grace to lower her enthusiasm one notch. No. Im sorry. But, almost as good. I slumped into the sofa and kicked off my shoes. My polo shirt itched my skin. I ran my hands over my face. They smelled like wax. Who? I finally asked. Seth! I wrinkled my forehead up. Why is Seth calling you and how is that anywhere near as good? Did she really have no idea what I was going through after all the tailspins shed been through? Paula scooted up next to me. Love in her eyes, she tucked a tendril of my hair behind my ear. Liv, I hate seeing you suffer. You know that, dont you? Tears welled in my eyes. I nodded and when she held out her arms, I fell into them. What I thought would be a heavy sigh, came out a sob. A deep, heaving one. Snot and sorrow all at once. Its bad, Paula. You were right. I was scared. I was scared hed reject me. I was scared of losing control. Now, Im royally screwed. Shh. Listen. Itll be okay. No, it wont. It will hurt more and more and even if I find someone who can feed me, even if I go scrounging through the sexual garbage out there to satisfy my need, I can feel it that I will always want him. Nothing will sate my lust for him, except him. And then theres my heart. I leaned back, holding my chest, trying to show her how much I ached. My frickin heart feels hollowed out with a dull spoon. Like the rind is all thats left. I want my heart back. Tears shone in Paulas eyes, too. She smiled at me. I was sure she didnt get it. Or didnt care. I stood up, dizzy. Seths coming over. It was supposed to be a surprise. Thats why he called me. So, act surprised. He cant feed me, anymore. It wont work. I groaned my way to the bathroom. I wiped my nose with quilted toilet paper. Call him back. Tell him not today. Sorry. Cant. Hes pulling up now. Paula! What is this? Cant you see what a freaking mess I am? I snagged the apron Id accidentally worn home in emphasis. I have been there for you. Ive wiped the puke and snot up and you call my ex? She giggled. Youre a total mess and Im so sorry Im laughing. Its just really hard not to be happy for you when I know its about to end. Its not going to end. Its going to get worse. I cant go back to Seth, Paula. My hunger no longer wants him. Which is good because I was this close to turning him into a brainless drooling lapdog. And he met someone. So, whatever relief you think youve orchestrated on my behalf is actually a bomb about to blow. Get it? She covered her mouth. She was laughing that hard? This isnt funny! The sound of a solid fist on our apartment door almost sent me into hysterics. The throw-the-dishesagainst-the-wall or strangle-your-best-friend kind. I exhaled out my nostrils, adrenaline roaring through me. I am not answering that. Fix it. Come in, Paula called. Seth walked in, wet from the rain. I stood halfway to my bedroom, steaming mad. Hey, I cant stay long. Joys running late for her second shift and Im her ride. Of course, Paula said and grabbed what hed handed her. Thanks. See ya. And he was gone as quickly as hed come. Relief that Id assumed wrong warred, stupidly, with disappointment. I dont understand, I said,

feeling like Paulas beaming face should make some kind of sense. Whatd he give you? She popped her hand open and let the badge fall, dangling from a long band strung around two fingers. I had a hunch Seth could hook me up with a pass. A backstage pass? How? That open mic night, leading to another, leading to networking, leading to whatever. I was wrong, though. Seths poetry apparently doesnt garner connections per se. Then how? I approached the pass cautiously. I let it lay on my palm and read the less than artistic text. The name my mind and body yearned for. Justin Sharpe. Right below John Mayer. I let it drop. I cant, I said, shaking my head. You have to, Paula said, shoving the thing at me. You love him. I hardly know him. Fine. You could love him. How will he forgive me? I walked away. Hed wanted me to stay, hed wanted to see how far it would go, and I walked out on him. Would you rather find someone new? She tossed me the badge. I automatically caught it, along with my breath over the very idea of never seeing him again. Id vowed if there was the remotest chance, Id take it. Id prayed for this opportunity. Whens the show? Now, and its one night only. Paula grabbed a pile from the couch that I hadnt noticed in my misery. Here. Jeans, sweater. Your boots are by the door. The cab will be here any minute. Well, dont just stand there, Liv! Her screech got me moving and the twenty-minute cab ride raced by. Before I let myself think too much, I tipped the cabbie and headed for The Hard Rocks, The Joint. I got stopped at the box office. No ticketno show. But, I have a backstage pass. Then you can wait backstage. While Id never been a groupie, back in my headbanger and eyeliner days, I knew one when I saw one or thirty. Either that or Id been led behind stage at a New York runway show. I was overdressed. Particularly in the belly and thigh areas. Fuck me. And back stage apparently did not mean behind stage. I barely heard music over the chatter. Or the hissing stares. Apparently runway model music fans ran in packs of two and three and had a two siliconejob minimum. I wished I had one of my skirts on. Damn it. Paula should have dressed me better. Now what? Pick off the picked fruit plate? I squared my shoulders and cocked a hip out as though I owned the narrow room. I told myself the worst that could happen was hed choose one of these women instead of me. Id hate it, I would probably beg and try to take what I needed, but might understand. Liv? I spun on one heel. Christ, he looked good. Glistening from a sheen of perspiration on his face, filling my mind with memories of his sweaty body flexed over mine. Sweat my mouth remembered the taste of. I swallowed. Hi. His gaze remained guarded. What are you doing here? The clutch of women seemed to swell toward us. My whole being purred at the nearness of him. It just needed a moment or two alone with him. My mind clamored, fighting back the lust. Can we go somewhere to talk? Id keep hands off. I had to if I wanted more than a last, quick fix. A long-legged, tawny blonde emerged from a nearby cluster and draped an arm around Justins waist. Amazing show, Justin. You killed it. Whos this? This is Liv, he said. His eyes were unreadable and all I could look at was his luscious mouth, anyway.

Her eyes narrowed slightly. She held out a limp hand. I shook it. Im Stella, she said, then turned to Justin. You ready? He pushed his attention her way. Uh, yeah. He faced me again, the intensity in his eyes making me forget to breathe. We have this thing. The press. He thumbed the direction of the exit, then slowly left for it, Stella pulling him by the hand. Id barely managed a nod and couldnt manage a single coherent thought outside of no. They reached the door. My panic kicked into overdrive. I hardly saw the smirks surrounding me and what I did notice, didnt affect me. Finding my breath and voice, I rushed after him. Justin, I was wrong. He turned at the door. He looked at me. After mumbling something to Stella, he met me halfway. Liv, what are you trying to say? I was wrong, I said. I should have stayed. My heart slammed in my chest. I was scared. Scared of how I feel about you. Scared of what that means, of how much I could get hurt. He looked down. My lust shifted higher. My eyes involuntarily darted to his hands, his mouth, his shoulders, his groin. Memories flashed unbidden. His plump cock in my mouth. His head thrown back in ecstasy. His face between my thighs, tongue delving into my. I cant say I love you. Not yet. I dont want to. Thats too much for me without at least knowing, or getting to know who you are. I stepped closer and put my hand on his chest. My body screamed for me to lean in and create as much contact as possible. It was all I could do to stay standing. And I dont mean I dont know now. I mean the details. The bad habit, dirty secret, favorite color kind of things that are supposed to come before your heart decides. He raised his head and his eyes searched mine. They shone with emotion. Ill beg. If thats what redemption requires, I will. I was wrong to leave. To not try. Stop, he said. I cant. He pulled me to him. Stellas throat cleared meaningfully from behind him. I buried my face into his shoulder, inhaling the delectable aroma of him. My entire being prayed and craved for him to say yes. Shh, he said, and stroked my hair. Hey. Look at me. He cupped my face. Gold shimmered over the surface of his lips. I leave my clothes on the floor. Wet towels, too. The ache inside me eased back. I once stole money from my grandmas purse. A dollar for the ice cream truck and to this day, I wish I hadnt. I half sobbed, half laughed. He kissed my nose. The room of people around ushanging on our every worddisappeared. The favorite color changes. Red for a corvette. Black for electric guitars. Green for the flecks in your eyes. He kissed me firmly on the mouth. Relief flooded through my limbs and joy surged into my soul. I have to do this right now. But, if youll wait, I promise, Ill come back. I opened my mouth to object, a part of me terrified to let him go, but the sound fell flat. A slow smile crept up my cheeks. Okay. Ill wait. As though he hadnt been certain until that moment, he brought me into his arms, crushing his lips to mine. He kissed me again and again. Salty and sweet. I realized tears were coursing down my face. Then he stopped. And he left. I waited for hours. The last stragglers were nearly gone. Adjusting my weight in the thinly stuffed chair, I checked my watch again. It was nearly two in the morning. Maybe I should go home. I must have fallen asleep because I didnt sense him back until he wound his arms under mine and scooped me up. He carried me out a side door to a waiting car. Once inside he stopped kissing me long enough to ask

the driver to get out. Realizing wed be alone, my lust swiftly awoke. I needed to feel his skin on mine, to hear words from his lips to prove he was no dream. Liv, you are mine, he said to me, looking me in the eye. The fierceness in his voice drove me wild. Justin, I said, getting my hands under his shirt. He felt so good. I want you. Please, dont let go. I wont, baby. He pulled my shirt over my head. I promise I wont go. Youre mine and Im yours. His hands were hot on my skin. My hunger sucked each sensation in. The tickle of his hair, the graze of his teeth on my nape. He pulled off his sweatshirt and returned to me, holding me close. Soon, we were both undressed. I wrapped my limbs around him. Justin buried his face into my hair. I could feel his heart beating against me. At once I wanted to stay exactly as we were and drown into him. His erection pressed at my sex then slowly eased into me. Fully sheathed, he paused. I groaned in sweet agony. I was so swollen and slick. So ready. I forced myself to wait. To trust. He kissed the spot behind my ear. I love you, Liv, he whispered. Everything inside of me shifted. The hunger of my curse, my heart, my soul. I already knew. I knew the day I walked away that he loved me then. But Id denied it. He loved me. Raindrops pelted the cars roof. New car smell mingled with his musk and citrus. Kiss by tender kiss, he showed me. I love you, he said, laying me onto my back, looking at me in that heavy lidded, potent way of his. And I never, in all my curse and in all my life, never had I felt more like me. Whole and safe. Complete. My body leapt over the precipice of my need and as he gently undulated into me, I climaxed in short, heady waves. I love you, too, I said, then closed my eyes and gave in to the wondrous bliss that was Justin. ~ Chapter Twelve Told him yet? Paula said low, the first minute we were alone on the sofa. Told him what? I asked. It was her favorite question these days. Id only seen her every few weeks, between cities on Justins tour, which was leaving me tired, but blissfully content. Wed found our own normal. I could hear Justin opening the wine in the kitchen. The three of us were going to have a nice dinner in. Paula didnt buy my feigned ignorance, though. Alejandro says Yeah, yeah. I know. Justin called from the kitchen. Merlot or Shiraz, Paula? Shiraz, please! She eyed me. Liv. Hell still love you. You know that, dont you? She brushed invisible lint from my shirt, but emotion shone in her eyes. How could he not? I took her hand in mine. I know he loves me. He loved me in a way I still found breathtaking and wondrous. Id never known such peace. Not as a human, not as a psychic vampire, the good doctors new favorite term for a succubus. But? Paula pressed. ButI dont know, but what if it isnt enough? What if telling him broke this spell? Either way you risk things changing. You risk freaking him out or you risk waiting too long. Dont tell me he doesnt ask, doesnt wonder what it is you keep from him.

Maybe. He asked. Id even tried once. Hed looked at me oddly and Id changed the subject. How would I not look like a freak, Paula? Lets say I told him. Why would he not immediately think Im either nuts or making a joke? What about the images? I mulled it over. Every so often, during intense climax, I continued to get strange images, like pieces of him. What if Im taking them from him? What if its a new level of feeding? The corkscrew clanged from the kitchen. My nerves zinged. I wanted to switch subjects, but I saw Paulas determination. Or maybe its the proof you can use to show him what you are. Reciprocity means you have to be fully honest and open before you can fully receive any kind of curative energy. Alejandro is very specific on this. I wish youd just come with me, once, to see what he means. I could hear the fridge open and close. Justin checking on his marinade. I rolled my eyes. A microscope isnt going to make my fear any easier. I think thats an excuse. On loud footfalls, probably to warn me he was coming, Justin brought a tray of mozzarella and tomato drizzled in Italian dressing. He set it down, looked once at me, and quickly departed back to the kitchen. You dont understand, Paula. Justin gets me. He knows I need coffee to be sane in the mornings. He knows how to make me laugh. He rocks out to silly music with me and even when hes gone for weeks, Im okay. I hugged my knees and focused on the afternoon Malibu view. The clouds grayed the spring sky. How could I explain to her that maybe a short time with incredible would be worth the eventual long time without? I dont know how. I cant let it end yet. Dont think like that. It isnt an end. Telling him will free you both. Or ruin what we had now. Ive decided to tell him if it gets to the point where my feeding is endangering him. This could be as cured as Ill be. Maybe he wont become enslaved. Maybe that is the solution. Finding the one person who feeds us, but we dont destroy because they love us and accept us. Seth loved you. I glanced back to be sure Justin was still out of earshot. Seth met someone within three weeks and they are now married. Fine. Suit yourself. Paula smiled tightly. But we may be out of time. I frowned at her. What? Remember Gigi? The redhead? Jimi turned her succu-slut. She found me and warned me. Hes still looking for us. She said he cant survive without us. Literally. Which means if we dont cure us, hell get desperate. What do you mean literally? Like he feeds off of us? I dont know. Gigi compared it to ants, only hes the queen and we bring him his food. Nausea roiled up my throat. Old familiar flashes of being drained and sustained by Jimi all at once. I couldnt go back. I couldnt crawl at Jimis naked feet again, begging for mercy. Or for more. I could hear Justin close the utensil drawer. I tried to smile and nodded. Hed join us any second now, ready to serve the first course. This isnt just for you, Liv. Its for me, too. How will we find you love? I dont know. For now, Ill take hope. And you telling him is our only one left. Her eyes grew glassy. I didnt want her to cry, and not simply because I could feel Justin approaching behind me. Dont worry. Ill tell him. Not right away. Not without figuring out how the hell to make him believe and not leave me. Soon. I will. When the time was right. Until then, Id love him with all I had.

That night I dreamed of Jimi. His skin glistened with crimson tinged sweat. His hips drove softly against mine in that familiar tease that always sent me over the precipice. He whispered my name. The sound tugged at my heart. Deep red smoky tendrils curled from him, tickling into me. His chiseled face above mine. Those alluring autumn eyes, smoky with desire and power. I awoke with his name on my lips, drenched. For the first time since Id left, I missed him. So deeply it hurt. I rolled over and took Justins hand in his sleep. My fingers trembled. My whole body shook. I shut my eyes tight, telling myself repeatedly that it was only a dream. A bad, bad dream. I could almost feel the sparks of Jimis climax peppering my skin. Then I felt Jimi whisper my name again. Liv. Two cities and a raw ulcer later, as Justin sang in the shower, I sat on the edge of the bed in a pleather corset and matching thigh-highs, listening, chewing my thumbnail. What Paula told me wouldnt leave me alone. Jimid turned Gigi. I didnt even know Gigi unless the back of her head between my best friends legs counted as an introduction. More than Paulas words, the tone to them. She was scared. Jimi wanted us back. Id found love and possibly a cure for my lust. Paula hadnt and probably wouldnt. She didnt play the game. She just fucked and sucked and fed at will. If I told Justinassuming I could find the nerve to and that hed actually believe methe magic of reciprocal exchange would occur and Id be free. Jimi would in turn be free of me. And hed hunt only Paula. My Paula. I couldnt protect her as well if I didnt feel the same driving need, could I? The shower stopped. I watched Justins tanned body move as he stepped out, grinning from a good beer buzz, and toweled off. Water trickled down the lean, corded muscles of his arms. His wet hair lay tousled and mischief shone in his eyes. Whats up your sleeve, Liv? Or should I say, down your thong? I leaned back enough to arch my back and open my legs. Sorry. Nothing in a thong here. His eyes widened at the site of my bare pink skin. He tossed the towel on the floor and walked to me. I inched back on the bed, indecision tangling up in my attraction for him. I didnt need to feed and that made every little detail of our lovemaking so much better. Surreal. Justin loved me. His hair dripped on my chest and top curves of my breasts. A little shiver went over my skin. His eyes alone could make me wet. Then they did. His lids went half mast as his gaze roved over me, looking as though it was the first time. His knee came softly up against my bare, moistening sex. You drive me crazy, he said. I knew the feeling. But right now, I had to stay sane and in control. I twined my arms and legs around his back and rolled our bodies so that I sat on top. His hard dick lay beneath me and I couldnt resist winding wet circles against it. His hands gripped my hips. A low moan escaped his lips. I stopped. Justin, I whispered. Yes? Do you ever feel like its more than attraction between us? Of course theres more. Theres love. Ive never loved anyone like I love you. My chest squeezed, a bittersweet pain. I know. Me, too. But what I mean is, when were together, does it ever feel like youre losing a part of yourself? He laced his hands behind his head and half smiled. Is this more of your witchy woo woo stuff. A little. Just humor me. Does it feel like Im taking from you? You mean beyond the obvious sucking me dry that you do? I wacked his belly. The muscles bunched, outlining the hard planes. Im serious, Justin.

Ouch. Okay, you win. Im afraid it isnt what you want to hear, though. I waited, uncertain what I did want to hear. When were together, its like I come apart and then get pieced back together again. For a moment, I lose myself to you. But I always come back whole. It was so sweet, how he weighed each word so carefully, then simply looked at me. Wrong answer? No, not wrong. My stomach clutched. Nearly every part of me screamed against this idea. But, for Paula, for Justin. For me, I had to try. I have to tell you something and I doubt youll believe me and Im scared of what you will think of me. The moment suspended and Justin waited, looking at me with deep, naked love. I memorized his face, his body, my heart. It might never be like this again. Do you know what a succubus is? He frowned and cocked his head a little. Something that sucks? I grinned. Sort of. Its like a vampire, but instead of blood, a succubus needs sex to live. It feeds off of attraction and lust. Are you saying Im a succubus? he teased, pulling me down to his chest. I propped my chin on my fists atop his pecs. He grabbed a pillow for his head, keeping his eyes on me. His Adams apple bobbed as he swallowed. Youre not, I said, ignoring the feel of Jimi beckoning to me in my head. But I am. His smile fell. Liv, whats really going on here? You havent been yourself this week. Im not myself. Im worried. You see, I dont know if vampires are real, but I do know that if I have too much or too little of you sexually, I get sick. Wow. Uh, thanks. Shit. I sat back up. Too late to turn back now. When were together, I feed off of you. Sometimes, I even get images from you. And Im scared Im taking from you, piece by piece, bit by bit, and Ill eventually either destroy you or have to leave. Are you trying to leave, Liv? Is that what this is about? He sat up, too, scooting me to his thighs. No. Really? Because it feels like you have one foot out the door. It always does. And if you need the door held open Stop! No. Please, dont say that, Justin. Sorrow and fear clotted in my throat. Then tell me youll stay. Tell me I dont have to worry about you leaving. Ever. How could I promise such a thing? Should I just lie? It felt as though my heart was being gripped in a vise. It hurt to breathe. Forget what I said, okay? Im not leaving. I dont want to ever leave. His intent, yet wary gaze searched mine. You really believe youre a succubus, dont you? You think youre taking parts of me? I barely nodded. I get images. Of a ring with a heart-shaped emerald. I get a scene with a redhead in all sorts of scenarios. Though his eyes shadowed with disbelief, I couldnt stop. I felt that inner tug worsen and if I didnt know better, Id swear Jimi had just whispered in my ear dont. I see her in a hammock with you. I can feel you love her. Youre young and it hurts, but you love her. Justin sat back more. I felt like an animal he was moving away from. A dangerous creature. I hated it. But I couldnt stop now. The pull inside of me ached and memories of Jimi flooded my brain. His tattooed arms embracing my naked curves. His wicked tongue driving me mad. I shook my head to try to clear it. So, youre a little psychic, Justin said, his voice low. Or are you a little deranged? I wanted to smile. This was what Id known would happen. This is what Paula couldnt understand. And she was right not to. Shed never been in love. I couldnt leave her behind. And no matter how much my body suddenly craved Jimi Gale, I had to ignore it. Better yet, I took it as a sign that I was on the right track.

I might be deranged. I wish I wasnt. But, Justin, please, you have to know Im being honest. If Alejandros theory was correct, Jimi and I were connected. And he would feel himself about to lose me. If I was part of what he needed to live, what would losing me mean to him? Liv, Justin said, shaking his head. What could I do, what else could I say? I had to erase that wariness from his eyes, from his heart. I reached for him. Please. Let me just show you? I could hear Jimis longing, a deep ache. I could see Justins mistrust. The only thing I could think to do to eliminate both, could put my heart and soul at risk. It could hurt Justin. Permanently. I lowered my lashes and crawled toward him. Tossing my hair to the side, I met his gaze and slowly unlaced my corset. I saw his breath catch. A glimmer of hope pushed me onward. I had to show him not only that I loved him, but that I was taking from him. No holding back, no sly siphoning. I brought my face to his abdomen, letting my hair and hands trail on his thighs. I collected my love for him and pushed it outward as though it was a breath. I reached for his turgid cock and grasped it in both hands. It jerked. His lust came off of him like waves of golden heat, cocooning me in warmth. I ran my tongue along his voluptuous head, sucking the liquid bead that formed there when, again, he jerked. I cupped his balls, loving the weight, and breathed in his primal scent. I peered up at him. Can you feel this? He nodded. I put the tip again in my mouth and suckled. But this time, I didnt just suck his cock. I sucked in the lust building inside of him. Justins ocean eyes widened. His hips pulled forward. A gasp of a moan escaped his lips. My tongue caressed the ridge while my will pulled at his attraction, yanking it to me. I sensed his climax. I stopped, releasing him with a loud smack of lips. Did you feel that? Holy fuck, Liv. I almost just came. The feeding had me on a fast high. My eyes rolled a little as the lust coursed through me. I forced my eyes straight. Even though the high was skyrocketing me into bliss, the deepest part of me was ripping in pain. It was Jimi. I could almost hear him screaming my name, warning me to stop. Justin, I love you. And I need you to believe me. I need you to believe me and love me anyway because if you dont. Justin pulled me roughly to him and pinned me onto the bed. He shoved his cock into my already wet, aching core. I arched. A scream of pleasure tore from my throat. The heady high was pulling me under. I would overload. Id drown. How could I stop? He thrust into me, a feral growl emitting from his clenched teeth. The look in his eyes was wild, erotic. Possessive. He had to make me his. So did I. If this was how Id dietrying, loving, highwell, it wasnt such an awful death. Justin drove into me again, grinding his pelvis to mine. My head lolled to the side as the first wave of orgasm clamped my muscles onto his. Justin grabbed my chin and forced me to look at him. Another wave swept over me. I could hardly breathe past the wicked pleasure. His hand trailed down my throat, coming to rest on my chest as he fucked me. Again and again, he drove into me, sending wave after wave crashing over me until pleasure sucked me under. I came apart into a million tiny pieces of golden light. When I heard my name on a breeze from miles away, I knew Id died. Then the sound grew closer and I knew. I hadnt died. Jimi had found me. But before I could panic, I realized it wasnt Jimi at all calling my name. It was Justin. Liv, he whispered. Babygirl?

I tried to locate the sound in my empty floating. Liv, baby, are you okay? I stirred, rolling to my side. Everything hurt. Slowly, I blinked my eyes open. The faint light in the room stung my eyes. They watered fiercely. Did I hurt you, baby? Please, talk to me. Justins arms wrapped around me. I waited for a wave of nausea to hit me. But nothing came. My head pounded, my muscles throbbed. But overall, I felt okay. Maybe I hadnt overdosed after all. I must have passed out. I think we both did. I eased onto my back and looked up into his face. He smiled, kissed my nose. Back to normal? I considered that a moment. Normal? Not really. Better. Much better, in fact. A strange tingle was tickling through my veins. And a quiet had invaded my soul. No whispering. No craving. Holy fucking mother of love! Had it worked? Was I cured? Justin spooned me into him. He buried his nose into my hair like a puppy. Liv? I could feel it. The bone-deep difference. Yeah? Goodnight. Good didnt begin to cover it. I lay in his arms, listening to him breathe, filled with an odd mix of joy and terror. After seventeen years as a succubus, would I remember how to be human? Where would this leave Paula? Happy? Alone? I didnt know. It felt like a gift to be able to find out. More than the gift of love. The gift of a new life. The End Dear Reader, Thank you for coming away with me in this powerful romance. Since I was a little girl, it has been my hearts dream to write and share timeless love stories, characters who surmount impossible obstacles. I hope you enjoyed Love Lust. Paulas story will be coming soon in Drowning Lust. Ill also be offering an extras for this series soon on my weblog. I love to hear from readers and can be contacted at amberscottbooks@gmail.com or I can be found online. Subscription to my newsletter and visits to my website, http://AmberScottBooks.com , will give you access to freebies, contests and all my love fraught worlds. Love transcends and transforms. Dont you think? Sincerely, Amber Connect with Amber Scott Online: Twitter: http://twitter.com/AmberScottBooks Twitter handle: @amberscottbooks Facebook: http://facebook.com/authorAmberScott Weblog: http:// AmberScottBooks.com

About the Author: In between naptimes and dishes, Amber Scott escapes into the fates, loves and complications of her characters lives. A native Nevadan, she makes her home in Arizona now with her husband and two young children. She is addicted to chocolate, often burns dinner, and still believes in happily ever after. ~ What Im reading--and loving--now Where the Rain is Made By Keta Diablo Chapter One Present Day, Montana

Ethan Gray rose from his dingy cot for the tenth time and paced the small area of his jail cell. Hed survived another night. The thin, hard mattress didnt faze him, nor did the cold, sterile white walls and matching sink and stool. The metal bars were another matter. He hated being penned; needed to feel the warmth of the sun on his face, breathe fresh air. The onslaught of a hard-driven rain chilling him to the bone would be preferable to caging him like an animal. Next year hed spend his vacation in a friendlier city, and one closer to home -- Washington, D.C. He thought about his job as Assistant Curator at one of the finest museums in the country. The position provided him with the opportunity to see and touch everything he cherished artifacts of the Cheyenne people. Hed have a lot of explaining to do if his superiors found out he spent two nights in jail again. Hell, by now a copy of the police report from that minor scuffle in Deadwood last year would be in the Judges hands. One road-bump at a time, he told himself while limping about his cell. Despite what it looked like, hed try to convince the Judge he didnt go looking for the fight. The judge would ask him what brought him to Montana. Easily explained. He never missed the yearly powwows or a chance to shake hands with old friends, watch the ceremonial dances, and smoke the pipe.

A fickle breeze snuck through the barred window in his cell. Jesus, he could barely tolerate his own stench. What he wouldnt give for a change of clothing and a bar of soap before he appeared before the Judge. At the moment, a transient moving from shelter to shelter put him to shame. His only visitor had been a geriatric doctor scrounged up from God knew where. Arthritic fingers had poked around his torso and head before he delivered his assessment to the sheriff. Hell live. Damn, he shouldnt have stopped in this flea-bitten town for a cold beer, and he should have kept minding his own business when the platinum blonde with the big breasts sidled up to him at the bar. Shed asked for a light before three men surrounded themblathering idiots well into their liquor and itching for trouble. A flicker of fire sparked in the mans pupils, so fleeting most wouldnt have noticed. Ethans life, however, depended on his ability to recognize danger. The woman knew the cowboy, had called him by name before she warned the bowlegged saddlejumper to stay the hell out of her life. The feral beast awoke in Ethan when the man lunged and wrapped his hands around her throat. Cowboy shouldnt have done that. Chairs flew through the air, and next bodies. By the time the fisticuffs ended, it looked more like a firestorm had blown through than a bar fight. Ethan had dusted himself off and strolled to the bar to finish his drink. The next thing he knew, a freight train roared in his head and white lights exploded behind his lids. Hed awakened in this damn jail cell with the cold-fingered doctor poking around his bruised body. Ethan stopped his pacing long enough to cock his ear toward the hallway. Yep, as suspected, the soft padding of footsteps, moccasins to be exact. Moments later, the sheriff stood before the iron bars, unable to hide his smart-ass smirk. You got company. You also got ten minutes before you appear in front of the Judge. Make it quick. Ethan knew about his visitor the moment the woman stepped through the sheriffs front door. StandsIn-Light, the ancient medicine woman of the Cheyenne, wrapped her spiny hands around the bars when the man walked away. Heightened senses come in handy now and again. Its good to see you again so soon, Esteemed One. The same yellow blanket she wore at the powwow clung to her slender shoulders, and today her long, silver plaits were braided and interspersed with colorful beads. Her face looked the same though, still time-worn after eighty years beneath a pitiless sun.

Yes, well, I didnt expect to find you here. She scanned the jail cell. In any event, the spirits call out for you, I Am The Wind. Ethan had lived the last ten years of his life between this world and another. At twenty-five years of age, the Council considered him a seasoned veteran. He knew why hed been chosenhis love for the Cheyenne and family connections. His brother, Noah, was a time wanderer, his grandmother a member of the Sacred Council of Arrows. Even without the family associations, he wouldnt have questioned his duty to the People. Never. Hed do whatever the Sacred Council asked for his People, his grandmothers People, one and the same. He often wondered if the blood of his ancestors triggered his violent streak, so forceful at times he thought he might implode from the pressure. Hed made a vow to never call forth the virulent brutality, but rather embrace the feral demon when it reared its ugly head. He looked beyond the window in his cell before meeting her gaze again. Ive heard their pleas in my dreams, old one. She took in his bruised body, her dark eyes settling on the gauze strips wrapped around his torso. Its not a journey of peace this time but one of great violence and sorrow for the Tsitsistas. Tsitsistas - the Cheyenne. He nodded and released a drawn-out breath. Sweet Medicines prophecy has arrived. Though we have welcomed the white-eye with open arms, hes like the fox, a trickster that smiles while stealing the hen from under your nose. Ethan glanced around the metal pen and decided her visit couldnt have come at a better time. I see many soldiers in my visions, and bloodendless blood. You cannot change events. Her voice a whisper, she closed her eyes for a moment, perhaps seeking the same visions. If you accept the mission youll save as many Cheyenne as possible. He paused and thought about the danger, but only for a second. What else will the Sacred Council require of me this time? You must resurrect your battle skills from past lives, lead them, and . . . . Her voice faltered. Cry with them in times of sorrow. He sensed she had more to say, but common courtesy and a lifetime of knowing Cheyenne custom compelled him to wait.

Stands-In-Lights eyes took on an insightful gleam. What else do you see while you chase dreams? He saw her as clearly as the fingers on his hand. A woman with hair the color of the magpie and eyes greener than pine needles. Your visions reveal the truth. The significance of the metaphors hadnt been revealed to him, but his journey to the past this time would be cataclysmic. He felt it with every drop of blood in his veins, every breath passing through his lungs. What of me? Will I be allowed to return to my life here? You always have the choice, Ethan, but remember the decision must be made in the whisper of a breath. Her words struck a chord of sarcasm. Before I die, you mean? She withdrew her crooked fingers from beneath the blanket with a solemn nod and handed him an object through the bars. He turned the familiar relic over in his handa time-honored whistle made from the wing bone of an eagle. The spirit of Maheo washed over him, like it always did when he communed with the People. They wont know youve returned from the future. She tucked the blanket securely about her shoulders. The same as before. He wasnt certain how it worked, but whenever he returned to the People, life picked up where it had left off. No one, not even the tribal holy man, knew hed been gone. Are you ready, I Am The Wind? She glanced over her shoulder as if to confirm not a soul could hear their conversation. The Sacred Council waits. What of you? He peered through the bars and followed her gaze. What will you tell my jailers after Im gone? Im not called Stands-In-Light without reason. She shrugged. Ill be gone before they realize it. His thoughts shifted to the moments ahead. Soon hed be standing in front of the Sacred Council. The usual formalities would play out, and then hed be asked if hed accept. He knew he would. He always did.

Spreading his feet, he allowed his arms to fall at his sides and drew a deep breath. Im ready. She closed her eyes, lifted her face skyward and began the deep, reverent chant: "I walk alone on the edge of time, traveling far and near. Born of the sun, kissed by the wind, the call of the raven screams in my ear." His vision blurred and the metal bars twisted, reminding him of slippery, silver cobras. Ribbons of scarlet and midnight black detonated behind his eyes before a rush of blood surged through his brain. The hammering began, slowly at first with a gradual ascent to volatile. Fascination gripped him when his arms went numb and shifted into massive, black wings. Soon his spine launched into spasms, every beleaguered ligament and muscle stretching as if ripped from their vertebrae. The familiar burning in his chest spiraled up his throat, spreading outward like a white-hot flame. The power of the raven to surged through his veins. He tumbled through a dark tunnel faster than a meteor falling from the sky, struggling to emerge on the other side. Brother to the open sky, ally to the distant sun, hed soar above the clouds to where the rain is made. *** Ethan stood before The Sacred Council of Arrows, acclimatizing his vision to the shattered fragments before him. Physically spent, his heart trying to dispel the ventricular contractions, he fought to school his breathing. He couldnt count the number of times hed traveled through time, yet the incredible impact it had on his body to revert from man to raven or vice versa still astounded him. To undergo the process twice in one day would tax his body beyond measure. Drawing on endless hours of training, he collected his wits, mindful of the usual scents in the sacred burial ground--moldering, ancient smells of the dead. With the exception of Stands-In-Light, the Council was an assembly of corpses resurrected from the grave to serve the People. He stood along the Tongue River, like he had so many times in past lives. Present life too. For centuries the Tongue had wandered for miles through Montana and Wyoming, yet today, not one remnant

of the Cheyennes sacred burial ground remained. Therein lay the beauty of meeting the Council here. Seotse, dead spirits, sat on the ground before him. He studied each one individually: V okaae, known in the white mans tongue as White Lances; Khamaxe, his Cheyenne name meaning The Stick; Wolf That Speaks, a dignified, mystical guide; Stands-In-Light, the High Priestess; and three others, The Pacer, Man-Who-Paints-His-Shirt-Black, and Whirlwind, the father of all ghostly souls. Not a time traveler among them, but prior tribal members empowered to send wanderers through time to help the People. White Lances rose. Ethan, Stands-In-Light summoned you, gave you the basics of the mission? Yes, V okaae. Ethan shoved his trembling hands, a result of the transformation, into the pockets of his trousers. If I accept, Ill be sent back to a turbulent time, one of death and great sorrow. White Lances nodded. What messages do I carry this time? The Stick lifted his head, his obsidian eyes glinting beneath the crescent moon. For one, Black Kettle should move his village. Ethan had studied the history, knew impending tragedy hovered over Black Kettles camp. It will be my honor to persuade him. Battles will be waged, villages destroyed and the Dog Soldiers will retaliate. The Pacers sorrowful voice drifted across the stagnant air. Many will die. Ethan met the mans eyes and saw the flicker of pain before he looked away. You will lead them, of course. Man-Who-Paints-His-Shirt-Black offered a subtle smile. Perhaps it will relieve the pent up rage in your heart. That brawl in the bar. I didnt seek. Black Shirt waved him off.

Her tone unrepentant, her chin resting in her hand, Stands-In-Light spoke. The Council reminds you, a leader guides with a calm spirit, a commanding presence. If you are to guide the People through the chaos, its imperative you harness your fury until it calls out from the battlefield. Yes, High Priestess. You are a valued wanderer, Whirlwind interjected. Its always our hope you return safe and sound. Ethan choked back a laugh, the reason behind the compliment clear. So Im alive to accept the next mission? Heads nodded in unison. White Lances slumped to the ground. Do you accept, I Am The Wind? I do, Sacred Council. Refresh an old mans memory. What name do the People call you? His question came as no surprise. Khamaxe often forgot minor details. Meko, noble one. Ah, yes, the word for leader. The man pinched his forehead as if to blame a headache for his forgetfulness. Youre excused now, Meko. Ethan offered a deferential bow and turned to leave when Stands-In-Lights austere voice stopped him. We spoke earlier of dreams? Dreams . . . yes. Mind you dont sacrifice the interests of the People to chase them. A warm, alien emotion crawled through his gut. Yes, High Priestess. Ethan removed his hands from his pockets, clasped them behind his back and fixed his eyes on the invisible burial platforms. A unified chant rose in the room, the same lament Stands-In-Light invoked

while visiting him in jail. In short time, hed be among the People in the sacred land of his ancestorsa Dog Soldier, the most revered warrior of the Cheyenne. His last thought before leaving his present life concerned his prized garden. Who would water the flowers and herbs in his absence? ### Available at Amazon and fine eBook stores everywhere. http://KetaDiablo.com

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