This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
PART ONE: THE HORSEMEN COMETH
If you have never fucked someone in the middle of an overheated Arizona DMV, then you wouldn’t have any real context for this story. It really is the best metaphor for being a working girl in the center of Hell.
If there is one thing hellions take seriously, it’s sex. More than drugs, more than violence, most people are just looking to get laid. If some money has to exchange hands…well, prostitution is the world’s oldest profession. For as long as there has been people, there have been other people paying to fuck them. The damned are no different.
Hellions, of course, being the residents of Hell, and Hell, of course, being the place bad people go after they die.
That’s fifty percent right, at least.
If prostitution is the same Below as Above, then Hell really isn’t as-seen-on-television.
To assume fire and brimstone would be in the bad kind of assumption. I’ve yet to be roasted on a spike of any kind or whipped – without expressly asking for it. Someone has been shackled to a cliff with birds pecking out their eyes, that’s true, but those punishments are really more special occasions than regular occurrences. Exceptions, not rules.
Mostly, Hell is just a bunch of people who declined to live by God’s rules. That’s it. There are bad people down here, certainly, but a number of pretty good ones too. Mostly mediocre souls, if you ask me, but definitely a mix.
Now, if you imagined the Underworld as a lot of drugs, sex, and rock n’ roll, that would be the correct kind of assumption. It’s a hedonistic lifestyle certainly – a good thing for me, otherwise I’d be out of a job. Hellions are buzzed, blitzed, or sloshed often enough – though, not as much as you may expect. It turns out when there isn’t anyone telling you it’s wrong, vices lose some of their appeal.
Not sex, however. If anything, that demand only gets higher. It helps that, among other things, sex is no longer taboo. There are still some taboos, of course – like you probably still wouldn’t fuck your sister – but the act of sex itself isn’t offensive here. Pre-marital sex? Of course. One night stands? Why not? Monogamous sex with a long-time partner? If that’s what you are into.
There are countless bars, clubs, and pubs were hellions pick each other up and have transaction-less hookups. For everyone else, there are working girls. The clientele ranges from the socially inept to the obscure fetishists to the busy and powerful. There are, of course, many clients who are simply straying from their partners in the simplest way. Hey, it is Hell.
On occasion, one of these special encounters is given to an army or government recruit as a reward or even a bribe. My last client before everything started has been a brand-new hellion, a young man killed in a car accident, that had joined the army to apprentice with a Horseman. War had brought the boy to me himself.
He’d called ahead to explain the situation: the young man, Colin, was a chess whiz who the Horsemen wanted for their advisory board. He was still a little shaken up about dying and finding himself Below. War also suspected he was…inexperienced.
A loud knock announced their arrival.
Before opening the door, I stopped by the mirror. Over the years, I’ve found there is no one look that works best for first meetings. They are always awkward and everyone is always looking for something different anyway. Clean and simple seemed best for today. Almost innocent.
I opened the door and there was War, tall and foreboding, with a blond young man almost completely hidden behind him.
“Well, well,” I greeted War with a wry smile. “Are your brothers coming too?”
I like War. I’ve had all the Horsemen, but he’s my favorite. The feeling, I’ve come to understand, is mutual. His brothers have their other girls, but War only ever comes to me.
The ever-unsmiling Horseman ignored me then, simply turning to the recruit. “This is Zosia Scorch.”
The blond boy blushed. “Ma’am.”
“Aren’t you polite?” I pushed the door behind me open and nodded for him to go inside. He did so without further prompting.
“And good at taking orders,” I commented to War.
“Scorch,” he said warningly. “Be careful with him. We’d like him returned in the same state we brought him.”
I shook my head. “That I cannot promise. He’ll be more knowledge, of course, maybe even a little older – perhaps even better at following –”
I gave him an eyebrow toss and shut the door.
My room was dark – the way I preferred it – and filled with all kinds of accessories you might expect to find in a prostitute’s workplace. I kept the really dirty stuff in a trunk in the closest, but this new recruit was looking around and he’d already turned three shades of red.
Taking a seat on the arm of the char, I worked hard to bite back my smile. Some casual conversation first, I thought.
“How long have you been Below, Colin?”
He kept his eyes focuses on the ground. “Four days.”
My eyebrows raised. “And Warhorse has already recruited you? My, what’s your superpower?”
His blush deepened and I couldn’t hold back my grin anymore. This really was too much fun. He didn’t notice, of course – he never even looked up from the floor.
“I, uh, I like chess,” he stammered. “I mean…” He paused for a moment and swallowed nervously. “I’m, uh, I’m a pretty good chess player.”
“Ahh.” I smiled knowingly. Warhorse had always appreciated strategy.
The young man looked at me again and then his eyes darted away and his cheeks darkened some more. As entertaining as it was to watch, if I wasn’t careful he was going to burn himself soon. I smiled to myself. It was rare to have someone so…innocent in my room.
“Are you a virgin?”
It’s always a blunt question, though I suppose I can’t say I’ve had to ask it a lot. And, given what was going to happen next, hardly a true invasion of privacy.
“And how old are you?”
I worked to keep any judgement off my face – but one thought pushed in front of the others and gave me pause. “You do like girls, right?”
Another shade of red. This blush was going to become irreversible “Yes.”
“We’ve got all kinds down here,” I continued. “And sometimes Warhorse forgets to ask –”
“I like girls.”
There was slightly more confidence in his voice that time.
I tilted my head. “What else did they offer you, besides me?”
“A lot of things.”
“Nothing else you wanted?”
He was quiet.
“You should think about what you want,” I said, standing up from the arm of the chair and walking toward him. “They might give it to you.”
In front of him now, I can see his pulse thrumming in his neck. I put my hands on his chest and look up at him from under my lashes. This look is a prostitute’s bread and butter. “So, what do you think? Should we get started?”
He was looking at the ceiling, which really was a shame because looking down would have granted him a really spectacular view of my cleavage.
Slowly, he nodded and I gently pushed him onto the bed. Keeping my hands on his shoulders, I swung a leg over his things and looked down at him.
“Colin, this might be easier if you tell me what parts of this are familiar to you.”
“How about I ask and you answer?”
He only nodded – but at least he was looking at me.
“Have you ever kissed a woman before?”
He nodded again – too nervous to even be indignant.
“Okay. Have you ever undressed a woman before?”
He shook his head.
“Then let’s start there, shall we?”
Taking his hands, I slowly ran them up the sides of my body, grazing my breasts, and stopping at the dress tie on my neck. He pulled on it slowly. When the fabric slid away, his eyes had a new focus. Taking his elbows, I guided him to touch me. He did – tentatively at first.
I’ve found that when my clothes come off, even the shiest of clients comes out of their shell.
His pulse was still thrumming in his neck, but his fingers were coming to life. He cupped my breasts and rubbed his thumbs over my nipples. I reached out and started unbuttoning the front of his shirt. It’s a myth that you have to wear the clothes you die in forever, by the way. If that were true, most hellions would be walking around in hospitals gowns or covered in gore. You get to change clothes.
When I finished Colin’s buttons, I ran my hands across his lower stomach, enough to make him take in a short breath. His hands faltered on my chest.
I settled my hands on the button of his pants. I found proof my tactics were working and took a pause to look up at him. I licked my lips slowly and deliberately.
“Have you ever –”
His cheeks were flushed still – only now for a slightly different reason – and his voice was a rasp.
Keeping his gaze, I slowly slid down his legs and knelt on the floor. He watched me intently as I undid the button on his jeans. Then there was a sound of the zipper and denim moving.
Right before you take someone’s underwear off is always a tenuous moment. Eye placement is key – and it takes some thought. Do you look them in the eye to be like, “You are a person, not just some genitals?” Or do you stay focused because, you know, that’s what we are all here for?
I go for a combo – a quick look up through the lashes and then back to business.
Guys are weird about their cocks so this is a critical moment in my line of work. You have to guard your reaction carefully. Some girls overreact, dropping their jaws and raving about how it’s “the biggest one I have ever seen!” I, never even the pity-laugher, am not one of these pity cock-worshippers. I’m a prostitute, not an actress. I’m here to have good sex and that had probably never been achieved through fawning over a mediocre penis.
Colin is average. Average-to-small, really, but nothing to get a complex about. He doesn’t have any time to focus on my actions because as soon as I have his cock out, I wrap my hands around it and he makes a sound like the air being slowly let out of a balloon.
Virgins really are too much fun.
Guessing stamina is one of the more fun aspects of my job. I already knew Colin wouldn’t have any. He was a virgin, he was nervous…this whole thing was going to be over pretty quickly. With more experienced clients, however, it was a bit more of a game to guess how long they would last or how many rounds they would go.
With Colin, though, it was more of a game of making sure things didn’t go too quickly. After all, there was my reputation to consider.
To his credit, he lasted longer with my mouth than I thought he would. But two passes and he made another noise and I knew it was time to stop. Carefully, I slid back up his body.
His face was no longer bright red all over, but the color had concentrated in two patches on his cheeks.
“I know you’ve thought about this part before,” I said. “What did you imagine?”
His shyness seemed to be receding.
“I wouldn’t think so,” I said with a small smile. “But this next part is important to some people. I don’t know if you are some people or not, so you’ll have to tell me what you want.”
“I don’t –”
“For instance, do you want to be on top or bottom?”
All of a sudden, the shyness came crashing back. He didn’t say anything.
“You think about that,” I told him, leaning over the nightstand and picking up a foil packet and a clear plastic bottle. The condom rolled on quickly.
“This will help,” I explained, as a drew a line of clear lubricant across his erection.
“How much control do you want to have?” I continued. “Do you want me above you, controlling the speed and the intensity, where you can see all of me?”
I let the line dangle for a moment, as I leaned in closer to his eye. “Or do you want to be over me, inside me, all around me? To control how fast and how deep you can thrust? Do you want to take –”
His head moved quickly, moving to the side and stopping my words with his mouth. His hands were on my ass and he rolled me over, pushing me back into the pillows on my bed. He was kissing me like it was his first time – and it kind of was, I guess – he kept his hands on my ass, grinding me into him.
Finesse would come later.
In general, this has been one of my most popular moves – both for virgins and for skeptics. I even use it on regulars sometimes. Never underestimate the power of pretending to give someone else the upper hand.
When his cock nudged against me, I spread my legs a little bit wider and he pushed inside.
For a moment, he paused and then his head dropped to my chest and he moaned against me. I smiled into his hair.
He slid in slowly and then sped up, his moans matching his speed.
The pace he set wasn’t bad for me – it wasn’t uncomfortably fast, a mistake a lot of first-time clients make – and with a bit of tilted and readjusting, it probably could have been really good for me, but that wasn’t what this particular job was about.
Colin rutted for a respectable amount of time before dropping on top of me with a long, shuttering groan. I remember wondering if I should stroke his hair, which can come off caring – or as mothering or patronizing. I chose not to, opting to simply wait for him to lift his head up.
The blush was back.
“Thank you,” he said quietly.
I smiled again.
There is a moment at the end of each session when the fantasy ends and the veil is pulled back and the client once again realizes they are just a client, paying for sex.
Colin pulled away quickly and rolled over to sit on the side of the bed.
A better – well, ‘better’ is not quite the right word. Different, maybe – prostitute might have asked him how he was feeling. I stayed silent.
“What do I do now?” he asked eventually. His voice was more forceful than before, but with an edge of rasp. “Do I just go?”
“We have some more time,” I answered softly. I leaned across the bed and put a hand on his shoulder and run it down his arm. “If you’d like, we can –”
“I don’t need to be held,” he said sharply. He softened his tone immediately. “I mean, I know I seem like the type, but…” He shook his head.
“We could just talk.”
He shook his head again. “Thank you,” he said again. “Really. This was…" He looked up with a stronger kind of confidence. "But I know another strategist when I see one and staying, well, it won’t serve a purpose for either of us.”
I smiled. “I suppose our game is done then.”
“It was good game,” he said with a shyly confident smile. “Is it always so tactical?”
“I wish I could tell you no, but I think it might be.”
He gave a real smile to the floor. “That might be good. It it’s always like that, I could be good at it.”
I laughed – something rare in my room.
He stood up and dressed quickly. I remained on the bed. When he was finished, he took a step towards the door and then looked back at me. He smiled once more and then left.
When I heard the door shut, I breathed out a sigh of relief. Usually they want a kiss before they leave, something to make everything feel a little less…transactional. Colin, it seemed, wasn’t deluding himself. At least, not that way.
I stood up, stretched, and then went about my usual cleanup routine. After I had changed the sheets and showered, I heard a six knocks on the door. Wringing my hair into a towel, I opened the door and found what I was expecting: no one.
Sighing, I got ready again quickly and closed my room. I was needed across town.
Hell’s city planner – of course there’s a city planner, it’s a city, isn’t it? – arranged the layout of the city center carefully. There are many sub-neighborhoods in Hell and they are often identified by the sins of the souls inside them. Because of this, it important that certain populations are...distanced. For example, its best to keep the serial arsonists away from the shoplifters and godless accountants. (They really do best with each other, anyway)
Despite these efforts, certainly incidents do occur but they are not encouraged. Crime in Hell is like...a whole other thing. Even the bureaucracy tries to avoid it.
Walking from my room to the center of the city took nearly a half an hour. When I finally arrived, I took an elevator to the bottom floor as I always did. And then I went to the front desk and said what I always said.
“I’m here to see the Madame.”
Stephen Warner: To start off, I am thoroughly impressed. The writing style is somewhat unique, and the plot seemed to move at a nice and steady pace. However, I was not expecting this to be a vampire book! I am usually not one for novels about vampires, but I was pleasantly surprised! You wrote with such grace a...
263Adder: Okay so I adore this story. I only knocked one star off plot for historical inaccuracies because I'm a bit of a stickler for that. The ending broke my heart though, considering you already changed history couldn't you (SPOILER) change it a bit more and have them together!!!! I want an alternative...
Sandra Estrada: I loved every minute of it and I thank my lucky stars that brought me to the story, it's been a whirlwind of emotions, plot twist after plot twist but I never got tired of them. Abby and Kade's story is a hard one to understand but once you're submerged in their story and love, you can't help but...
SandraHan1: This story is very descriptive, with vivid scenes from the very beginning, which made for a good scene setting. I love the symbolism in names, such as “Naysayers”, “Hadd”, etc . The story itself is revolutionary, intriguing, emotional and exciting. I was very pleased to see that there is a happy ...
zoheusher20: What more can I say? The writing style and little details drew me into the book and for the entirety of the story I was Juliet. I felt her turmoil and emotions and every trouble or triumph as they arrived. This story was very different and had quite a few little but unexpected twists that made it...
Shreya Biswas: Finally god...... I was tired of Charissa doubting Frederick's love... yes.. All's well that ends well.... i was getting really downright agitated at the author because the suspense was held really well on how things will work out in the epilogue and i just wanted them to have a happy ending.. An...
Hudson: Your story was fantastic Erin! The Rising Sun was one of the first stories I read on Inkitt, and I have to say I don't regret the three to four days I spent pouring through the story.Probably the biggest strength I see in your writing is your characterisation of Eliana, Oriens, and the rest of th...
Alex Rushmer: Chapter One: Not much is happening in this chapter, but I was absolutely fascinated by the depth of your character development. I love how you just sat there with the reader and explored Eddward. Usually, that sort of thing gets boring very fast, but this was actually really cool! He's so unique ...
matrixmark: I thought that the introduction to this was relly well written and structurally sound in its presentation.The introduction to the cabin in the woods was good too. To me, it felt like a Blair Witch of yesteryear, but the things which you added in about the mutilated boys were certainly something n...
emmaneal74: I loved this booked. Would definitely buy it when published and read it again. The story flowed in such a way I just couldn't put it down. I was never confused about the characters or their roles in the story which can happen sometimes with so many lead. I'd recommend this to anyone wanting to r...
rudyoxborough46: An action-packed, mystical adventure awaits anyone wishing to read this novel. I’m amazed at how well you’ve managed to flesh out the characters in this book, and I hope to read more of your work.I’ve read books about goblins and elves and all that mumbo-jumbo before, and most accounts of these c...