Feeling like she was surfacing, swimming up out of a dream, Avery blinked and looked around, trying to figure out just where in the hell she was. Everything had gone very strange after she had entered the bar. Those men...those...creatures. She shuddered as she remembered their faces, the look of pure ravenous hunger. And then Jonah...and then a strange dream that was not a dream: being explored and touched by two beautiful women, touching them...
Her pussy began to tingle at the memory of the blonde woman's lush breasts in her hand. Avery's head felt full, expanded. It was as though some antenna in her brain had been tuned more finely, so that her senses were extra-heightened. She looked up at the sound of footsteps, saw Jonah approaching. As he came to sit beside her on the bed, Avery noticed that he looked...different, somehow. Taller, perhaps, and more imposing. He now seemed to glow, radiating with a palpable energy. His eyes were brighter, almost fiery, and he had strange markings like raised tattoos along the skin of his arms, unfamiliar symbols. ''What are you?'' she asked, awash with awed curiosity, more so than apprehension.
He sighed. ''I knew that question was coming.'' He paused a moment, then answered, ''I am of the incubi.''
Avery's eyes widened at this revelation. ''You're a sex demon?'' she squeaked.
''Yes, in a sense. It's not really that simple,'' Jonah hurried to explain. ''I don't...I don't hurt anyone. Not intentionally, anyway. It's true that I feed off of sexual energy. I have the Hunger. And I can manipulate the energy of others, increase their arousal and so forth.''
''That must be why,'' Avery said softly, almost to herself.
He regarded her with curiosity at this statement. ''Why what?''
''Why I always felt different with you. Felt...more.''
Jonah smiled, feeling pleased, and oddly proud. Though he had not been at all oblivious to the way she had responded to him, it was nice to hear her say it aloud. ''I'm glad that I could make you feel more. I...well, I know that you've been needing something, something that you haven't been getting from those drunk losers.''
She winced, hating that he knew about that. ''Yeah, well...'' she trailed off and stared around the room in silence. It was a large and ornately decorated bedroom, with linens in dark reds and golds, sexually explicit mosaics and painting on the walls, featuring all manner of beasts and winged creatures engaged in various acts, some that Avery had not even thought physically possible.
''Are you...how are you, ah, feeling about all this?'' Jonah winced inwardly at his own awkwardness.
''Um, I'm ok, I think,'' Avery replied honestly, twisting the bed coverings in her hands, plucking at the fabric. ''Like, it's all so...impossible, but at the same time it feels so natural. It's as if I understand it somehow. There's a kind of familiarity.''
He let out a breath that he didn't even know he'd been holding. ''Good. I was worried that you'd...hate me or be afraid of me or something.''
Avery smiled at Jonah. There was a soft warmth in the look. ''I could never hate you, Jonah,'' she said honestly. ''You saved me.'' Then she asked, ''Who were those other people, those two men with you, the ones with blonde hair?''
''Those are my half-brothers, Georgio and Silvio,'' he told her with a roll of his eyes. ''They fancy themselves quite charming.''
''So they're...like you?'' she asked. Jonah nodded.
Avery considered this. ''You and your brothers all have really interesting names,'' she noted. ''You and...Tobias have like Old Testament names and then the twins' sound Italian. Plus, your last name is Ramirez.''
Jonah gave her a faint grin. ''Well, those aren't actually our real names. We've changed them many, many times over the centuries.''
She blanched a little at the word. ''Centuries!'' exclaimed Avery. ''God, how old are you really?''
''Over nine hundred,'' he admitted.
She closed her eyes for a moment, letting all of this settle. Then she opened them again. ''I can't believe I haven't asked this yet, but where the fuck am I?''
''On the other side of the Veil,'' answered Jonah. ''In what you would call another dimension. You are in Calveria, the largest city in the realm of the incubi, and this is the Great Temple. Our world is always there, right alongside yours, just cloaked, hidden from view. That doesn't mean that things can't cross over, of course, they do all the time. Usually, though, the comings and goings are monitored. You get a kind of visa that allows you to travel between dimensions. Most of us come to the Middle World to find work, or love. A lot of us become artists, or musicians. There's more of a place for that here.''
''Really?'' asked Avery in surprise.
''And we can't say our real names,'' he added. ''They're in an ancient language that has never been written down. So, we chose a variety of different names in order to assimilate into the Middle World.''
''How was that?'' Avery asked. ''Assimilating, I mean. Was it hard for you?''
''It was easier for me than for my brothers,'' he replied. ''I'm only half-blooded, after all.''
''You look a little bit...different here,'' she noted, studying him. ''It's not bad or anything,'' she rushed to say. ''I can't quite figure it out...''
''There's always an element of masking that is required to live in the Middle World,'' Jonah said evenly. ''Certain of our attributes need to remain hidden in order for us to blend, to look like we belong. Once we are over the Threshold, that glamour falls away, and more of our true appearance is revealed.''
''Please explain to me more about what this place is,'' Avery begged. She was in another dimension, a place where demons were real. She was seeing things that very few other humans had probably ever seen and she wanted to know as much as possible.
''As I said, you are in one particular section of a very large other world, one that always lives right alongside yours, although you are oblivious to it. This section is where the incubi, succubi, and several other similar varieties of being generally abide.''
''Is it like...hell?''
Jonah looked aghast. ''What? No! Your concept of hell is...thankfully, there are very few places like that which actually exist, and they're very far away from here. This is simply another world, with another sort of species in it. I'll admit, we've taken a bad rap over the centuries, but that's just a lot of misinformation and propaganda. It didn't help that a few bad eggs helped to spoil everything by getting greedy, but there's good and bad in every world.''
''Is Thrace one of the bad eggs?'' The name had suddenly popped into Avery's mind, she remembered it being mentioned in her half-aware state after they'd first arrived.
Jonah nodded. ''Yes. This world has it's criminals as well, and unfortunately, despite all the treaties, some still take joy in crossing over the Threshold to wreak mayhem on earth and in other worlds as well.''
''So, the attack on me was just random, then?'' she asked, a dark shudder winding through her as she thought back to the creatures in the bar, their sharp teeth, smirking mouths and hungry eyes.
''I didn't say that,'' he replied and his eyes shadowed over slightly. ''We're still trying to figure it all out. But for right now, this is the safest place for you to be.'' He walked over to one of the chairs, over the back of which was draped a gown made of sheer, glimmering silver fabric. ''Here,'' he said, ''you can put this on for now. Now that you've been awakened, your aura is insulated so that you will not be drained. There is a small glamour around you now, though the older ones will easily see through it, and it's best to try to blend in as much as possible while you are here.''
Avery nodded almost shyly as she stood and then slipped the gown on. Jonah helped her with the ties at the back, and she could feel the heat emanating off of him in waves as he stood behind her; she could smell his scent, like dark spices and heavy dreams. A shiver worked its way along her skin, and she tried to steady herself. ''Come on,'' he said, taking Avery by the hand and leading her towards the door, ''I will show you some more of my world.''
Her mouth went dry at the sight that they passed as they walked further through the Temple. The vast marble room was full of beautiful creatures, nude young men with enormous barbed cocks and the same markings along their arms that Jonah had. ''Are they all incubi too?'' she asked him. Jonah nodded. ''They're what we call hatchings, just coming into heat.'' Then Avery's cunt tingled with warmth as she saw the gorgeous blonde succubus again, the one whose breasts she had fondled.
''You there,'' Kelia commanded one of the 'hatchlings', a handsome young man with piercing lavender-blue eyes, set in a heartbreakingly lovely face. ''You, knot me now!'' He acquiesced cheerfully and leaned back on one of the large chaises while Kelia pulled up her skirt and sank down onto him with a cry. She started to rock back and forth, her eyelids fluttering. ''That's better.'' Unable to look away, Avery stood and watched and listened, riveted. ''I love these young ones, so thirsty, so questing...ah!'' Kelia's eyes suddenly widened. The young man wiggled his hips. ''Did I strike a nerve, milady?'' he asked with a grin and then gleefully continued to move faster and faster, almost relentlessly. Avery felt herself growing hot all over again as she witnessed this lurid display, which seemed to be fairly commonplace here.
''What's...what did she mean by 'knot me'?'' Avery asked. She had a vague idea what it could mean but wanted to be sure. ''Knot. Like what wolves do when they have sex,'' Jonah confirmed with a smile. He loved the way that she was responding, her curiosity was quite alluring.
Avery thought back to her limited knowledge on the subject, she knew that when wolves mated, they locked together, it was impossible for the male to pull out of the female for several minutes.
''Yes, very similar. Except that male wolves aren't generally erect when they first penetrate the female.''
''Thanks for the zoology lesson,'' she mumbled. ''So...you guys do that, when you have sex? You...lock together?''
''Only sometimes,'' he quickly replied. ''But when you're a hatchling coming into maturity, it happens quite often. It's a very...interesting time in a young incubus' life cycle. Naturally, they're not allowed passage over the Threshold at this time, in fact, most stay within the city walls, mating with the young succubi who are also in heat, or some of the older ones, who are always eager to instruct. It begins around this time and then peaks in mid-February. There are some...ah, interesting celebrations.'' He smiled, seeming to be recalling fond memories.
Avery assumed that 'celebrations' could be translated into 'massive orgies.' She found herself becoming rather intrigued, despite some lingering reservations. There was something about all of this that pulled to her, enticed her. She didn't feel like she was under some spell or influence, rather it seemed like something that had always been dormant inside of her was waking up for the first time.
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