Witching Hour

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Simple Requests

Samantha leaned against her podium, “watching” the door. Rather, “leaning” was, also, questionable. The podium was more supported her from falling on her face than offering solace for her feet and kept herself from passing out right there for all to see. To say it was a long weekend would have been the grossest understatement thus far, but her mind didn’t want to think on it. It didn’t want to think at all, still dazed, enraptured by pleasure.

It was truly a miracle she managed to dress herself, though one wouldn’t be able to tell from her outfit and the splendor that it was. The dark blue dress shimmered, smoothed sinfully so, and ended just before her ankles. Her feet were adorned in a pair of soft, cream-colored slip-ons, matching her jacket, not a crease nor fold to be seen through it all. Though she had no bra, her tight, black top served enough for support... And, as much as she wanted otherwise, she was forced to wear panties again, to stem the tide of mother nature once more. Earlier than expected; stress is simply wonderful.

But it didn’t seem to detract the air of... nobility, of superiority, of grandiose she carried that day. Even if she didn’t mean to at all. The students took interest, used to seeing her in some drab ensemble, and each one gave her a smile as they entered. Even Ayn, which made her feel all the more smug.

Until Minos, that was.

He was all masks, smiles to cover for the trophy bugging and ever boring herself into his arm, until he entered the room. And snorted. He trudged up to her, stood before her a moment, waited for her to say anything, but, when no acknowledge came for his presence, he sneered and hit the podium, making her jump and sputter –and Monica moan and shake.

“Oh. That’s why. You were asleep,” he mused, chortling as Samantha yawned. She gave him a dirty look, but it was his turn to ignore her. He waved to the class, pointing at her, rapping still on her podium. “Hey, everyone! Don’t think she was being nice. She was only sleeping.”

“I wasn’t sleeping,” she grumbled, and yawned again, “but morning to you too, Jack.”

“Morning,” Jack said from his seat.

“Not you. This Jack.”

“My name is Minos.”

“No. It’s Jack. Just because you want to be called something different doesn’t make you anything more than Jack. Now get in your seat, or do I have to mark you as absent. Bad enough I’ll need to fill a tardy slip.” She pulled one out for flair, and her smile started to ache as he sneered at her.

“Keeping attendance now? Aren’t you trying to be a model teacher. Even though, you know, you’re fucking one of your students.”

She stood up straight... though still clung to the podium with her left hand, meeting his glare.

“So what if I am? Are you upset that it’s not you?”

“More like I’m worried. For the student. Who knows what kind of nasty ass disease you have in that snatch.”

“No nastier than the one you carry on your breath.”

“I’ll have you know I’m clean,” Monica said. “So, if he does have one, it’s from-”

“Shut up!” Minos said, and shoved her off. Red started to fill his eyes-

But this time Samantha wasn’t going to let him get the upper hand.

The dragon shrieked through the door, diving through it at Minos. It was as large as a condor; if it wasn’t for its wings being closed when it entered, it would have taken out both walls. Even then, when it opened them in the room, they were each as wide as one of the desks set before them. The ceiling lanced after, wind howling, screaming around them as the metal closed around him in thick swathes. The floor under him burst around, and long, metallic tendrils clawed free, snapping their way up to his horns. His hands were snared, his hooves, straining as the steel rippled, burned, and coiled over and over an over again around. The dragon circled the room, crying out, barely heard about the wind before it settled on Minos’ back, pressed down onto the floor.

It dug its claws in, brought thick swathes of blood, and leaned over tis shoulder, growling in his face... all the while Samantha hummed. With a pen in hand. The room was silent save for it, and, with one final clack, she dropped the tardy slip down to his mouth. Before putting the pen inside it.

“Sign here, please,” she said, tapping the paper... and waited for him to do it. It took some more... persuasion from the dragon, but he finally did, then the dragon opened its wings, rising. Along with the metal attached to him. It and the dragon guided and glided him to his desk, where he was sat upright at it. The dragon returned to the front of the class, still glaring at him, while chains still clung to his neck, shackles on his wrists and hooves.

They clacked almost... merrily as he strained and fought them through class. It was apparent he was glaring at her, but Samantha wasn’t paying him even a lick of attention anymore. Instead, she was smirking at the rest of the class. At Bella. She waved at Samantha, biting her thumb, and Samantha had to fight hard not to drop her smile.

But not all were smiling.

Peter scoffed, and stood from his desk, heading for the door.

“Peter? Where are you going?” Samantha said.

“This is a place of learning.” He stated, throwing open the door. It slammed against the wall, and almost bounded back, stopped by his still-outstretched hand. “Leave the drama in the bedroom.”

“She didn’t do anything wrong, Peter,” Bella said. “She was simply diffusing the situation that Jack caused.”

“My name is Minos!” The already emasculated minotaur boomed.

His face went pale as he snorted.

He snapped the chains off, allowed to as the dragon shrunk to fit itself back on Samantha’s finger, and sniffed over to Bella. He snorted at her hair, almost inhaled her neck, but finally jerked away, glowering at her... and what she was wearing. She was, actually, rather modest with her apparel this day, a stark, glaring contrast to the gaudy garb months, if not years, before. She even had a small, black plate put in place over her nethers, covering up every naughty inch.

“Do you have a problem,” Bella asked, though it was more a threat, all eyes on them... but... Minos simply shrugged, and heaved a soft sigh.

“No.” He said, and chortled. “I suppose not. Just make sure to invite me tonight –or whenever you two-”

“Then get back to your seat before I fuck your shit up.”

He didn’t even retort. A start. He simply trudged back to his desk, and Samantha felt a twinge of guilt seeing the look of... defeat on his face. Of being lost and lonely and confused and hurt all at once, twisting, mixing into a mangled heap of pain and misery. Feelings she knew all too well, and presently. Samantha didn’t know which was worse: the rage he had shown when she first brought Mahna’s scent down here, or that look of someone slowly gutting then burning his puppy alive as he was tied down and forced to watch.

Which turned to rage when his “prize” slid back onto his lap.

“You okay, Minos?” Monica said. She caressed his face, kissed his cheeks, held him tight, all while muttering soft nothings into his ears. He uttered something. The air around it sent a shiver down Samantha’s spine. One look around the class showed that everyone but the whore had sat a bit forward, all clenching their desks, watching the two. Monica let go a second, looking into his eyes, caressing his horn. “What was that?”

“It’s all your fault,” he said again, louder. He shoved her off –harder than he probably meant. She rolled over the desk, yelping as her head slammed into Samantha’s, but at least managed to find her feet- knocked down again as Minos stood. He kicked her, lobbing her across the room with the smallest of squeaks, but stopped before she hit the wall, slapping her palm into the ground. She stood, panting, but Minos was already bearing down on her. “It’s all your fucking fault, you stupid, dirty whore!”

He raised his hoof, aiming it for her middle-

But it was as if she was never there, holding him from behind.

“Why thank you, Minos. That was such a lovely compliment,” she said, and giggled as he wheeled about –gone again. This time she was sitting on Samantha’s podium, in brand new attire. She had left and returned with a fresh swimsuit, this one modeled after old, Egyptian fashion, with broad golden hoops on her wrists, ankles, and ears. Thick blue ribbons hung from her shoulders, twirling around her arms twice before draping to her waist, barely concealed inside a golden-hued thong, their bottoms stained black. Her breasts bulged a touch out of the golden top, shimmering so many colors in the light. All that was left to do was the make-up, which she was doing as Minos brayed and charged her, snapping her compact shut as she leaned back on his desk. She winked at him as he turned again, and blew him a kiss. “You like? This is what I used to wear, back when I was but a concubine in a sultan’s harem. It was where I was turned, and learned my first set of skills.”

“Like being a whore is so fucking h-”

He had charged her again, his hands clawing her way. This time she did not run. She allowed him to grow close, to wrench for her.

And wrapped her legs around his right arm.

Minos cried out as the rest of the class groaned, all muffled, almost silenced by the sickening pop of his shoulder then the crack of his arm, twisted nigh around. It was as if she was water, coursing up his arm and wrapping her legs around his neck, crashing him down onto his back before rolling on it, grabbing his left leg and pulling it back. He begged, pleaded- screamed as he shook his head fervently. Tears welled and rained as she started to twist, bending it in such an oblong angle that it was a wonder it was still hooked to his hip.

Peter tapped on her shoulder. Monica whined, and huffed.

“I was getting to the fun part,” she said, winking at Minos. “Fine. Besides, I need my fuck toy to be functional.”

“I am. Going to fucking kill-” Minos panted out as he stood, but winced as Peter grabbed his horn. “Really! You’re going to stand up for that whore?”

“Her life means nothing to yours. Don’t try to exchange them,” Peter said, and let him go. He picked Monica up, making her exclaim and coo, but he once more trudged to the door. He “glared” at Samantha, a deep growl escaping his gritted teeth. “I’m taking her to her room. Remember what I said.”

“She didn’t do anything wrong, P-” Bella repeated, but he spat her way.

“She has, and you aided in it... I’ll be back.”

The last three words were so bitter that Samantha couldn’t stay there, not in that... that mire. He was right; this was... she... she had to- needed to leave the room. She needed to rush to hers and to the mini fridge, swigging down a wine cooler if only to settle the hissing in her mind, but that didn’t stop the tears that came with it, hearing it again and again, hammering and assaulting her very soul.

How... twisted... tainted it had become. This wasn’t her; none of it was. She took out another, but couldn’t open it, too weak. Always too weak. Always wrong. Always the one to blame!

She trudged to the bathroom, still holding that bottle, and looked in the mirror. Anger washed her vision. Metal creaked and cracked free from her hands, the dragon rising as the bottled creaked and crackled in her hand. What was left of it; what wasn’t consumed by that metal.

What was left of HER.

With one, last swing, the bottle, the mirror, and her were all as one, little more than shards and broken pieces. Blood rained from her hand, from her face, wiped away with the tears, but that would mean they weren’t the same thing... She laughed as she collapsed on the John II beside, looking at the “masterpiece” she had created on the ground and in the sink. She reached into the basin and caressed those rugged edges, giving her work the love it deserves, the treatment she deserved. More blood flowed, not long before it scraped against the bone, coating in metal, breaking the glass and allowing more slivers in. She picked up one of the bigger pieces, and turned over her arm, not even giving it a second thought as she ran it down.

However, when she tried, metal surged forth, stopping her.

She shrieked, the air becoming so cold in its anguish, and threw the glass. Hitting the dragon. It hissed and returned to her, its bright, soulless eyes glaring back at her, mocking her, so proud yet disgusted that it had allowed her to endure yet another day.

Another week.

Her hand was still bandaged on Sunday, waiting for the others out by the gate. The ground under her still trembled, still sucked on her heels, but she waited, and was only waiting until the time that they stated. She checked her phone; two minutes, then she would be in Bella’s arms again, all the more training for the test, the true gauntlet... She prayed they would be there.

One minute, and she flushed a little, remembering all the “preparing” beforehand. All the webbing, all the sheets and pillows destroyed. The rock under rose to her ankles, her legs quivering, still feeling those hands trail them, those lips suck and nip ever higher. She licked her lips, “tasting” hers, both sets, both so sweet yet tangy. Her nips hardened under her black ta-

The stone let her go, allowed her to rush to the sedan, its lights blanching her white shorts. Bridget was driving, whisking her away to another night of the mundane, of the dull bowling alley, to the small, modest store with its kind, irked, female clerk.

Whom pulled her to the back.

Aya locked the supply closet, twirled a lock of her brown hair as she waited for the tiny bulb above to flash on, and handed Samantha a chair, sitting in one herself. Her black dress pants were rumpled, matching her bright blue shirt in condition. Its front was pushed out ever so by a decent set of ladies, with no bra to be seen –was everything meant to mock her! How that ELF’s lip trembled; how it wanted to say one thought only to be lost to another, a train wreck of questions upon statements just waiting to unfold, but too busy being admired to be.

Aya shook her head, and leaned forward, her hazel eyes twinkling.

“Samantha, was it?” She said. At last. Thank gods.

“Yes, but you can call me-”

“I don’t want to. In fact, I don’t ever want to hear your name again. I don’t ever want to see you again or the other witches, but because MY BROTHER has a soft spot for y...” She cleared her throat, and shook her head again. “This is going to be a lot so sudden, so I apologize for that. However, my brother... he’s a hopeless romantic. He gets so lost in love that... that it’s sickening.”

She spat the last word out, grimacing, and reached out, touching Samantha’s leg, patting it.

“You are sweet. You have always been nice to me, and I am very thankful for that. I... I must ask- no, demand of you... Stop seeing my brother.”

She pushed Aya’s hand away. Instantly. Not even before she finished asking. Was this bitch serious? She thought. This is the last thing I need after the week I had.

“W-why?” She spluttered out... and, you know what? She was tired. So, so tired, of holding her tongue back. Her anger quickly rose, gathering for the next round of words. “I’m not hurting him, am I? I’m not hurting you! Hell, you just got done saying I’ve never done anything to you-”

“But it’s only a matter of time. The others have done it, and... and I just want your sick game to end.”

“G-game? What game! You... you think I’m just seeing your brother because of them?”

“Aren’t you?”

“No! I actually care for him! I... I love being around him. Yes, he’s a bit corny, but he’s a really nice guy-”

“Which is why I don’t want him to be hurt! Again!” She sniffed, and a single tear rolled down her cheek. “Please. Whatever you four’s game is, don’t involve him in it anymore. I’ve seen his heart broken too many times.”

“I don’t intend to break his heart. I really do care for hi-”

“That’s what the others said too, and look at what happened.”

“I’m not them!”

“But you are a part of them... Please.”

Samantha stood, her teeth gritted her fists clenched, glaring down at this...

ELF.

“Fine.” Samantha stated, the hammer heard being cocked in her declaration.

Aya looked up at her. “R-really? You’ll leave him alone?”

“Yes, but I’m going to meet him at the end of the month, as I promised him I would, and tell him exactly why I’m not allowed to see him anymore.”

She jumped to her feet, the chair falling back, crashing against the wall, her face contorting with the impact of the shot.

“Don’t you d-”

“If you are going to interfere in his life like this, then you better be ready for the consequences, you fucking bitch.”

“I was trying to be civi-”

“As am I. You are asking to break both of our hearts because of your selfish wish-”

“How is it selfish to not want to see my brother get hurt!”

“Because it’s his life, not yours!”

“But I’m the one that has to pick up the pieces whenever your slut pack gets their claws in him!”

“I’m! Not! Them! What part of that don’t you get? I’m my own human being, which you can’t really say, now can you!”

“H-how dare y-”

Aya shrieked and lunged at Samantha... kissing her, moaning against her li-

Samantha pushed her away. “What the hell!”

Aya giggled, a bit flushed.

“S-sorry. Lost my head there a moment. Y... you see, it’s been a while since I’ve been that p... J... just go.”

She opened the closet, and Samantha stormed out of it and into the car, the others already halfway through a six-pack... sobering quick seeing the metal around her hand and the sheets of it rising from the ground after. Through concrete and stone.

“What’s got you so riled?” Lola said.

Samantha... simply shook her head, the dragon on her finger starting to stir. “Just take me home. I’m... not in the mood tonight.”

Bridget nodded, and the car rumbled into the silence as it took hold inside the car. How it buzzed, swarmed in between, rumbled with each passing second, but Samantha would not let it win. She did her best to hold her questioning, to keep that storm at bay. After all, just because one is in the eye of the storm doesn’t mean they can’t feel the effects, and the last thing you want is another shit storm to converge while still picking up the pieces of the last. She hadn’t been this pissed since her second time seeing Lilith- AND THE FACT SHE WAS BROUGHT U-

Her anger continued to seethe, froth, roil. ready to go at the first Monica that dared to get in her way. It wasn’t as bad as the rest of the night, but that was because exhaustion does wonders to calm rage. Sadly, it seemed the Monica’s had sensed her anger, her ire, her turmoil, and the last week before the break was silent, serene... calm. She stood at her podium in the music room, popping the last pills, genuinely smiling as the last note was played for the piece. She even clapped, humming as a brief whisper of the squall tore through her mind, wanting to rend Monica or another target with just as much of a Monica face. Or her own face, but she chose the next best... or Ayn. It was a coin flip.

How could she look so... happy, so... so Monica in her row. Her very presence brought tremors around Samantha’s feet, rumbling with the last of the drums, while Minos simply sat, watching like a carrion, waiting for everything to unfold. In fact, the entire class must have felt it, that wanton lust to tear her apart, but Samantha had the largest cloud around her. Therapy, if you wi-

Ayn cleared her throat. It’s not too late to change targets.

“Well?” She said.

“Hmm? Oh. Right,” Samantha said. “Class dismissed. No class next week, so have a n-”

“Fucking stupid nigger.”

“Excuse me?” It’s really not too late...

“Why? Why are we off next week?”

“Because Thanksgiv-”

“Oh, yes. So much to be thankful for. Like being locked in a fucking box!” She kicked over her stand as she stood, and stormed up and out of the room... making Samantha smile. She got to hurt Ayn without even trying; it was a good day. For once; the rest of the week was a tamer version of that past Friday, so it was nice to see SOMETHING in HER favor that wasn’t wrought by the hands of a Drider dyke,

“Why are we taking the week off, though?” Junmei said. “There is literally no point. To us, it’s going to be a boring slog in time until the moment the buzzers go off again.”

“Are you planning to go home, lover?” Bella said, sighing, leaning against her sax... garnering such a dirty look from Monica and Minos... and Samantha. “Are you really going to leave me here all by my lonesome?”

Samantha shook her head. “No. Not at all. I’ll still be h-”

“Then why are we off?” Norman said.

“You guys really don’t want a week off? Don’t want a moment to shoot the shit and do whatever the fuck you want?”

“We do that anyways, so what’s the difference?” Junmei said, and he cleared his throat. “By the way, did you happen to look at the back of your music sheet?”

“What?” Bella exclaimed, and bolted to her feet, surging towards him. “Don’t even think it, Cassanova! She is mine.”

“What are you talking about? I simply asked.”

“And I know what that means.” Bella stormed down to the podium and wrenched the paper from Samantha’s hands. There was a note back there, and it talked about intimate matters. But not with Samantha.

It didn’t work. She simply agreed with everything I said.

Bella’s anger faded, replaced with a concerned frown.

“What is this?” She whispered to Samantha, though it might as well have been screamed with how it echoed in the buzzing air.

“None of your business,” Samantha said. “This is a matter between Junmei and myself.” She swiped the music out of Bella’s hand and smoothed it out on the podium once more, gesturing to Junmei. “If you will see me after class, we shall discuss your translation issues. And, next time, you don’t need to be so discrete. Everyone here knows you need a bit of help with English.”

“Yeah! It’s not big deal, Junmei,” Norman said, nudging his shoulder. Of course he would- He cleared his throat, chuckling sheepishly, and, just like the wooly creature, bounded up the stairs and out the door. The others murmured their agreement, but Junmei, Bella, and Samantha all knew the truth. And so the others dispersed, while Junmei and Samantha decided to convene in the instrument room. Bella closed it, and leaned on it from the other side, making it groan a touch.

“It really didn’t work?” Samantha hissed.

“No! It was rather insulting, really,” Junmei said. “Even after when I told the truth, that I know my taste in movies was trash, she argued that I was wrong and they were truly masterpieces... Has she been back to see you?”

“No. She hasn’t.” In fact, I haven’t seen her nor Buffy in a while outside of class- wait. “What about Buffy?”

“I haven’t seen her since I broke up with her to try to reconcile with Marcy. Not even for sexual reasons.”

“I sure would hope so... I don’t really know what to do, then. Aside coming out and telling her that you find her an absolute bore, there’s no real other way to approach this.”

“I take it you two are talking about Marcy?” Bella chided in through the door.

“Yes, and I don’t very much appreciate you prying into our conversations,” Junmei said.

“Be thankful I’m keeping the door shut. Now, Marcy is a total booze hound. Get her drunk, and you can see the real her. Next morning, compliment her for opening up and showing the real her, and she’ll do just that.”

“That’s... actually solid advice,” Samantha said... but shook her head. “But that means you would need to get the alcohol somehow. She would know it’s from me if it was wine coolers... I got it. I’ll call Lilith, and ask for... permissions. Not only for you, but everyone. That way, it won’t look as suspicious. Just... give me a bit of time. Okay?”

Junmei kissed her cheek, and patted her shoulders, smiling at her.

“If it means knowing the real Marcy, I’ll wait as long as it takes. Though I might end up needing a bit of release on the side-”

“It’s called masturbation!” Bella, once more, chided in.

“Using my hands? Wouldn’t that be rather... gay? I’m a guy, aiding myself, a guy, to get off.”

“Really! Just... no, Junmei. Just no. It doesn’t make you gay.”

“Then the other word. Uh... bi?”

“It makes you a healthy naga,” Samantha said, and knocked on the door. A gesture and nothing else. Bella opened it before her hand had completely fell upon it, her face locked in an outright, absurd, quizzical glower at Junmei slithering out after. It seemed frozen on her face as the three climbed the steps to the door, opening it.

To a shouting match.

“Fuck off!” Minos boomed, grunting, snorting, held back by Peter. His back was to the door, but Samantha could see that his pants were down around his ankles, with Monica seen between. She was against the other wall, nude, with Jack and Norman to her sides. Not like they had a choice; she was blocking Jack from his room. Her eye was bruised; blood trickled from her nose, sniffling, trembling under Minos’s ire. “Can’t you take a hint? We’re through! Done! You were a lousy fucking lay, anyways.”

“L-lia-” She began.

“Take it from someone who was forced into that hallway. I got zero pleasure, ZERO enjoyment out of that twat. Your mouth was even worse! If anything, I may have turned gay after dealing with you. And it’s all because even teacher refused that wretched, rotten cunt of yours. It’s a miracle she can even stand it anymore, but Bella must have one helluva snatch compared to yours.”

“Okay. First off, welcome to the fold, brother, bu-” Jack began, but was blasted back into the wall and down it, along with Peter and Minos. Monica’s screeches made the metal creak, shut off by her door’s slam, but even then her sobs could still be heard, resonating through the soundproof metal.

“That was a bit too far, guys,” Norman exclaimed, wagging a finger at them. “She didn’t deserve that.”

“She had to be put in her place,” Minos said, and winced as Peter gripped his horn harder.

“She did not deserve that,” he said, and looked back at Samantha.

“I’m going, I’m going,” Samantha grumbled, barely heard, and was thankful for a third time that the pills finally kicked in. She cupped her ears, the metal shrieking so until she reached the door. It was pulsing, like her temples. “Monica! MONICA!!! Open the door, honey!”

“No!” Monica shrilled. “Go away!”

“Come on, Monica... It’s me, Sam. Remember?”

“I’m not stupid!”

“I wasn’t saying you are. I’m your professor, your friend-”

“I have no friends!”

“Of course y-”

“Everyone hates me!”

“That’s not t-”

“It is! I see it in their eyes every day... I see it in yours.”

“It’s more annoyance than hatred, Monica! Please... Let me in.”

… The door opened, and Samantha had a realization: this is the first time she’s ever actually seen Monica’s room. She never stepped foot nor even considered it before. Which turned out to be such a shame; it was, by and far, the largest room in the Black Halls, with a staircase to a lower level, where the door to her bathroom and kitchen waited.

On the first floor, the loft, there was a spinning wheel. Cloth spooled from it and onto the ground, covering all to the banister in soft, purple silk. There was, also, a sewing set, multiple machines all lined up and ready, as well as clay wheel, a kiln, an anvil, and a furnace. There were several things Samantha couldn’t really give a name to, as well as a large couch in the back. It, alone, took up the entire corner, loaded with dozens of throws and throw pillows, all converging towards its middle, the corner.

The walls were painted, a clashing, a melding of colors, swirling together, ripping each other apart with warm and bright shades, some brighter, just enough to make them stand out, all lit by four dome lights. They were spaced enough to give a bit of shadow in between, allowing the “paintings”, the “sculptures” to cast their images onto that sea of cloth, seeming to dance.

Monica was in that loft, sitting in the couch in the far back, looking down at the silks and lights. She sniffed, biting her lip, grimacing as Samantha trudged to her-

But cried out, stopping her before she stepped on... a quilt before her. It almost seemed to blend into the carpet, but its edge gave it away, ready to accept another square, already made and sitting beside her, making it thirteen. Monica shook her head, and flipped over the quilt, showing-

“You were making a quilt with all of us on it?” Samantha said.

Monica nodded, picking up the piece as Samantha sat, and stared at it, glowering at Minos... she stabbed her index and middle finger through it and tossed it aside. His red eyes, once given such fire through the shading and cloth, was now reduced to threads. His skin rippled in the light, clinging to the needle still embedded in his heart.

Samantha... stood, and collected it. She smoothed out the fabric as she gently removed the needle and pushed energy through it, mending it again and covering the black hole that was left. She placed it on the stand again as she sat down, hugging Monica, shushing her, silenced herself as she saw the ceiling and the mural that sprawled there, all but Samantha completed, with only her left arm and head missing from that... heavenly beauty.

“This... this is all really impressive,” Samantha said, breaking the silence at last. “You did all of this in three years? Well, aside the mural, of course- what is it made of, and how is that staying up there, anyways?”

Monica pointed to the other corner, where a box of thick, black strips sat. “Velcro. Canvas doesn’t weigh much, and it’s cheap... Lilith just wants me... content down here.” She sat up a moment, her face contorted in disgust. Tears were replaced by anger, anger that Samantha knew all too well. “Why am I here? So what if I had sex. So what if it was attracting attention. Isn’t that a good thing? For normies to accept and appreciate himan? Why? Why did she lock me up... Why!”

“I... I don’t k-”

“Neither do I! I don’t belong here, not with these... murderers, these... monsters.” She clenched Samantha’s shirt, looking into her eyes. “I don’t deserve to be in here! Help me, Sam... help me get out.”

“I... I don’t know how. Lilith... in your dossier, it says you are here ‘for your own good’ because of all the sex.”

“So, what? She wants me to stop having sex? That’s not hard down here. Hell, until last month, that wasn’t even a thing! I’ve been here for three fucking years without sex; isn’t that enough? It’s not like she never went without that long, so what right does she have to judge me? Where does she get off thinking that my sex life is any of her fucking business! I’ve been alive probably just as long as her. I’ve seen my fair share, done my fair bit. I was a muse, a painter, a musician, a composer, a nurse then field doctor then soldier, a chef, a teacher, a nun-”

“Nun?”

“It was a phase, okay! I’ve done it all... so why is it so bad for me to be a prostitute now? It’s... it’s the only pleasure I get anymore.”

She collapsed into Samantha’s chest, sniffling... and... for once, Samantha saw her age in those eyes. Those blues were faded, bloodshot, the bags under pulling so much at that face, cursed forever with the folly of youth, the alienation of a girl trying to speak and flirt instead of a woman just trying to fill the hole in her heart, a hole that had grown over years, decades of loneliness, of boredom long since changed into complacency and contempt.

She shivered so hard in Samantha’s arms, curling into her lap, reminding her of both a lost child... and an invalid elder. Samantha carried her downstairs, each step sighing, slowly taking her into a veil of dark red silk, fading into blues and purples before opening to a galley of pictures, an archive of canvases put on shelves, each one dated as far back as... time immemorial. Some were so rough to the touch, so faded, the ink on their bone frame showing the time, but Samantha couldn’t even believe it was that old.

A bed took up most of the room, covered in silks, sliding so as she settled in with Monica, looking at the painting across. It was of a woman with bright blue eyes, draped over a red satin couch.

“Who is that?” Samantha said... and the answer dawned on her as she did, seeing the long, black braids, the pert chest with the cherry nips... the forest that awaited between the legs. “That’s... you?”

She nodded. “If I was able to look older.” She shook her head, and turned away. “Thank you, Sam, but you can go now. I’m... a little better.”

Samantha shook her head, and took off her clothes, cuddling with her.

“W-what are y-” Monica began, but moaned instead, shuddering against Samantha’s hands, squeezing her chest so. She looked into Samantha’s eyes, fresh tears brimming as she gritted her teeth. “N-no. You don’t need t-”

“This isn’t for you.” She stated, kneading, mashing her breasts more as she growled. “I’ve been under a lot of stress as of late, and been needing something to squeeze. What was the first rule of a prostitute again?”

“... No matter the demand, make sure your client is satisfied.”

Samantha nodded, and smiled a little as Monica settled, crying out of joy at last. She moaned against Samantha’s hands, pulling at her nips, tugging on them even more as she rubbed back against Samantha. Her legs moved on their own, thrusting at her teacher, her patron, coating her again and again. She squirted whenever Samantha tamped her breasts, squishing them, mashing, gnashing, mauling them with all the anger and stress and fear that had culminated over the last... few years, really. It may have bore its head now, but it has been so long since she was simply able to release.

Sadly, it wasn’t long, but at least the rage that brewed was quelled... for the moment. Samantha kissed Monica’s forehead, leaving the girl to doze off, and put on her clothes again as she headed upstairs and to her room-

Stopped by Ayn.

She waited outside Samantha’s room, sitting on the steps, glowering down at her.

“I don’t have time for this,” Samantha grumbled, and energy sparked on her hand, the wall beside the succubus bending out, accentuating that point. “What do you want, Ayn?”

“A cup of coffee,” she said... standing as the wall evened out.

“Excuse you?”

“I want to have a cup of coffee. Won’t you invite me in?”

“... You’re lucky that sounds good right now.”

Ayn moved to the side, letting her open the door, and Samantha lead her to the kitchen, the coffee pot brewing –for the first time. Ayn sat at the table, giving Samantha a dirty look at the bar until she joined her, sitting across.

“Not a bad set up. Better than my little hole in the wall,” Ayn said.

“A ‘hole in the wall’ fits perfectly for this place, too, after seeing Monica’s. Have you ever been? Place is like a fucking mansion compared to this.”

“While this is a mansion compared to my cave. Lilith hates that there is another succubus in her territory.” She sighed, and simply shrugged. “Guess it didn’t help that I lied to get into the school to begin with.”

“What? You lied?”

“Not that hard, really. As long as you put down you’re a vamp, they don’t really care what kind. Skinwalkers have to be recorded, but Fangs? Not at all. Too many, after all... Well, you going to get my coffee or what?”

“Alright, alright... Happy?”

“Not really. A bit too sweet.”

“Suck it up.”

She tittered, and shook her head, smirking. “You should be open more often. You’re actually tolerable when not giving that saccharine smile... Lilith did offer me a way out, you know.”

“What! When?”

“When she found out I was a succubus... When I killed my mother’s rapist... my rapist.” She reached into her shirt, and pulled out, inch by inch, a bright, silver chain, wrapped four times around a simple, small bottle. Inside, a bit of... something sat, little more than a lump of pink with a bit of brown. “This is all that’s left of him, the one-hundredth.”

“W... what is it?”

“His cock, or, rather, its head.”

“Oh my gods! Why do you have that?”

She stowed it again. “A reminder. A memento of my mother.”

“Then... then you knew the victim?”

“There you go again playing stupid! Of course I did. You saw in those stupid fucking files that I plotted to kill that honky for a long, long time... probably longer than what it said.”

“Why?”

“Nigga you cannot be this... I was about ten. I came back from school, and a boy from the white neighborhood had followed me from the colored stop. Bad enough that the seats were shit, now I had that honky breathing down my nape, probably wanting to bury his cracka cock in my cunt. I tried to run, but he always kept up until I got home. Ma gave him such an evil eye, as did the rest of the neighborhood... but they weren’t there that night. None of them were.”

“Oh... oh my... did h-”

She nodded, taking a long swig from her cup, glaring at herself in it.

“At least I figured out what I was that day. I tasted his memories, his life... his essence. No matter how far he ran, I would have found him. I had him; just a shame he ended up here, of all places.”

“B... Well, I mean, surely the police would have been involved.”

She snickered, shaking her head, and broke her cup, the last drops splattering the table.

“Crackas cover cracka asses. It was a poor black girl against a white boy from the whitest part of town.” She stood, and rose her shirt. Revealing crude, serrated scars on her belly. “Eugenics were still a thing in asylums. That’s what the police did for me. That’s how they handled my mother’s rape and murder... and how they handled mine.”

“I... I didn’t know... So that deal Lilith offered-”

“To find my mate, my incubus... I don’t give a damn. I’d rather rot and die in here than have to rely on supposedly another for happiness, because the world showed me long ago that there is no such thing... Thanks for the coffee, and your ear.”

“N... no problem... Anything you want me to ask Lilith for next week?”

“Tell her to go fuck herself.”

And with that she left, leaving Samantha to sip her coffee, now finding it a bit too sweet herself. No amount of caffeine or pills would help with this headache, or slow it down, but at least Bella was along not soon after to keep it a dull throb.

She slammed her head into the bar, sobbing... as she laughed.

“Make it slow down,” she cried out. “It’s all too damn much going too damn fast... Dammit! DAMN IT. FUCKING GODSDAMMIT ALL TO FUCKING HELL- No. I AM in Hell... Dammit.”

She broke down laughing and crying, all the while the dragon on her thumb glared at her.

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