The Female

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Chapter 22 - Information

CHARLOTTE

My arm flies out and smacks against Gray’s neck as I wake, momentary terror overwhelming me at the sight of him staring down at me with his black eyes and solemn expression. Who the fuck does that?

I don’t think he understands how much of his Demonic traits are used in Human horror films.

He hardly flinches as my hand makes contact with his throat, the only change in his expression being the slight widening of his eyes.

“How long have you been staring at me?” I groan.

I refuse to think about the night before as he smiles and hooks his leg over my waist. I had fun, and I silently remind myself that there’s nothing wrong with enjoying Gray’s presence. He’s kind and treats me well.

His eyes don’t hold the same sexual malice that they did during dinner after the first time he fed on me, and my heart blooms at the knowledge that he isn’t going to humiliate me as he did before.

“Why did you hit me in the throat? You said that I could sleep in here.” He says, ignoring my question. “Do you remember that? It was seconds before you ripped my fucking nipple off.”

His voice lowers as he brings up my attack on his chest, his eyes narrowing before sliding to the sheet that covers my chest.

In a panic, I bring my arms up and cover my nipples, fearful that he’s going to take retribution for my attack. Instead, he laughs, his eyes lighting up at my reaction to him.

“I was only looking at you for a couple of minutes.” He finally answers my earlier question. “Stop being so weird.”

My mouth falls open as he says this, caught off guard and shocked that he thinks it’s me who’s being weird. He has to be joking. Gray smirks, confirming my thoughts, before laying back down on the bed next to me.

We both lay side by side on our backs, our heads turned towards one another. I take a moment to look over his face, scanning over every bit of it in search for any telltale signs of hunger.

My face warms as I find none, a feeling of pride seeping into me as I see only filled out cheeks and bright eyes. He looks good.

Gray’s smile wavers as he stares at me, the sheet covering us moving just seconds before I feel his fingers touching my palm. I’m sure that my face is beet red as he entwines his fingers with mine, our palms pressing together. It feels more intimate than anything we did last night, and makes my heart flutter at an embarrassingly fast pace.

“Is there anything you would like to speak about?” He probes.

I shake my head, declining the offer. I appreciate that he is opening up the conversation, but I’d rather have the world swallow me hole than speak to anything that happened in my dream

“Is there anything you’re upset about? We don’t have to go into depth if there is but I would like to know if anything I did was too far.” Gray continues, apparently not accepting my no as an appropriate answer. “We need communication if this relationship is going to work.”

I want to ask what our relationship is, but fear of the answer keeps me silent. Am I his girlfriend? The thought frightens and excites me at the same time. Gray’s been so kind and patient with me, and I wouldn’t be upset to have a label on what we are.

Do Incubi even have relationships like the Humans do? My heart aches as I consider the possibility that he doesn’t feel any strong emotions for me beyond just lust. For all I know this could be nothing but sex for him, and his kind actions serve only as a way to get it.

My mouth opens as I work up the courage to ask, but as he tightens his hold on my hand I chicken out and push the words back down my throat. I don’t think I can handle the disappointment that comes with being told that he doesn’t share the same feelings that I do.

“I’m not upset about anything. I liked what you did.” I shyly say instead.

“Even the butt thing?” He probes.

My eyes narrow, and after a moment I shrug.

“It was unexpected, and I don’t think I’d like it to happen again without warning, but I’m not mad.” I admit.

Gray’s lips curl upwards into a sly smirk before he forces it back down. The mattress shifts as he rolls over onto his side and hovers over me again, his hand releasing mine as he instead moves it to my chin and tilts my head up.

I follow along with little resistance as he buries his head in my neck latches onto my skin. His lips are soft as he bites and sucks at me, and I do everything in my power not to let my shaky breaths be heard.

I already know that I can’t do anything about the scent of arousal that’s no doubt pouring off of me, but in desperation to keep it hidden I clench my thighs together anyways.

Gray politely ignores it as he moves his mouth to a new spot and continues the action, quiet grunts falling from his lips as he marks up my skin. He takes his time to cover me in what I’m sure are embarrassingly large and dark hickies, his hand tightening on my chin as I shyly try to pull away.

When he finally releases me he does so with a grin, his white teeth on full display as he looks down at them with pride.

He tilts my head left and right as he evaluates them, his smile growing before falling into a slight frown.

“I feel really bad about this, but there’s something that I meant to tell you yesterday that I completely forgot about. I swear it entirely slipped my mind.” He starts, his hushed words making my heart race.

I gulp, rolling onto my side to face him.

“Before I tell you, I want to promise that Silas will be with you the whole time and he won’t let anything bad happen.” He starts, his words only worsening my anxiety. “There is an annual gathering tonight. All the Demon leaders get together each year in what is essentially a dick measuring contest. Word’s gotten out that Alex bought you, so it’s expected that you make an appearance.”

Gray’s hand lowers to grab mine, his grip tight as he pulls it to his mouth and presses a soft kiss to my knuckles. I try not to let my nerves show as I sit up in the bed and rest my back against the headboard.

“When are we going?” I probe.

This isn’t ideal but is far from the worst thing I’ve ever heard. I trust Gray and Silas to keep me safe, and I knew that at some point I would be expected to interact with others. I suppose I just didn’t expect it to be so soon.

Gray’s grimace only makes my heart race. Why does he look so nervous? I already know that I’m not going to like what he says as I tighten my grip on his hand.

“It’s held in Lust this year, which I’m sure you’ve gathered is where I’m from. I, well, there’s something that I haven’t told you.” I open my mouth to begin my onslaught of questions, but Gray continues before I can get any words out. “Lust is my dad. He’s got like a thousand children, and I’m far from being one of the oldest, so it’s not a huge deal, but being a direct descendant means that they’ll be keeping a close eye on me. I can’t be near you at all tonight.”

My blood runs cold at his explanation. If he’s not going to be accompanying me then who? He mentioned that Silas would be with me the whole time, but his wide, panicked eyes and nervous explanation tell a different story.

I gnaw at my bottom lip as I recall that the story is that Alexander purchased me, terror rending me motionless as I realize that he is the one who will be bringing me.

“So who am I going with?” I question, needing a verbal confirmation to my assumption.

Gray’s hand tightens around mine.

“Alex.” He answers. “But Silas has promised to remain by your side the entire night, and you only need to stay for an hour before he takes you home. He also said that he’ll stay with you in your room until I come back. You don’t need it because Alex won’t be bothering you, but I know that it will help you keep peace of mind.” Gray’s quick to assure me.

My anger flares as I rip my hand out of his. Alexander has already threatened and hurt me, and I highly doubt that he’s not going to do it again. I’m not dumb enough to believe that either he or Silas could hold back the Demon should he decide to come for me again.

Alexander is the son of Wrath, and if I had to guess I would say that he’s one of the first. That man is not to be trusted, despite what Gray says.

Silas is kind and all, but at the end of the day I know that his loyalty lies with Alexander.

“Why can’t you just take me? You don’t live there anymore and don’t have to listen to everything they tell you to do.” I snap.

Gray reaches for me again, pausing as I jerk away from his touch. He audibly sighs as I wiggle out of bed and put some space between us, but averts his gaze as I take note of my naked state.

I frown, ripping the sheet off of his body and wrapping it tightly around myself. Worry fills me as I take in his naked state in my bed. Did he not tell me in the hopes that I would let him have me? It’s awfully coincidental that he took me on a date and expressed his desire to feed the day before telling me that I have to accompany Alexander to a Lust party.

“Because they won’t ask, Charlie. They will grab and shift you away to some hidden location before taking turns raping you until you’re a shell of a fucking person. The issue isn’t me not listening to them. The issue is that they don’t respect me.” He snaps.

My jaw clenches shut, and I push down my fear so I can continue being angry.

“And what’s the difference if Alexander takes me?” I probe, already knowing that there isn’t one.

Gray scoffs, sitting up in the bed and throwing a pillow towards the wall.

“Because people don’t fuck with Alexander. What the fuck do you want me to say, Charlie? That I’m a weaker Demon and don’t command the same respect as him. Do I need to fucking spell it out for you? Alex is strong. People don’t touch what’s his. I am not. I can barely fucking shift you places, and my family won’t think twice about stealing you away from me.” Gray snaps, a slight blush warming his cheeks as he voices his insecurity.

My mind flashes back to the story he shared yesterday about his family taking away the woman that he once loved. I hesitate, not sure whether or not I can trust him.

Gray looks away from me as I stare at him, his body pivoting forward to grab the comforter at the end of the bed and ripping it up over his lap. The visible vulnerability cracks my anger, and I find myself suddenly desperate to console him. He refuses to meet my gaze as I get on the bed and climb onto his lap, his jaw clenching as he opens his arms and welcomes me.

His shoulders round forward as he holds me to his chest.

“I know it’s a lot to ask, but it’s important to me that you trust that Alex isn’t going to hurt you.” Gray murmurs, pressing a gentle kiss to my temple. “Alex has to go because of his status as the firstborn of Wrath, and I have to go because Lust is my dad. If we don’t make an appearance then they’ll just find a reason to come to our home and inspect our relationship themselves.” He explains.

I sigh, relaxing slightly into his hold.

“Can’t you just turn them away?” I desperately ask.

Gray shakes his head, his arms tightening around me before pulling me further into his lap.

“Not if we want to keep the peace. You have to understand the influence that Alex holds. He’s set to inherit the Wrath kingdom when his dad dies, so it’s necessary that he maintain relationships with the other leaders. He would be doing bad by his people if he didn’t.” Gray explains.

As much as I would love to pretend that I don’t understand and argue more, I know that what Gray says is the truth. Alex has responsibilities, and by extension, that means that Gray and Silas do as well.

“Silas and I tried to get them to push the party back but too much was already in motion for them to postpone. I was avoiding telling you until I got a final confirmation, which just happened to be yesterday afternoon.” He explains. “And then with our date and everything it completely slipped my mind.”

I nod, not really having anything to say. At the end of the day I know that I don’t truly have a say in this, and if I continue my arguing it’s going to do nothing but stress both Gray and me out. It’s just one hour. I can suck it up for one hour.

“Do you want to see the dress I picked out for you while you were sleeping away the morning? It’s very expensive and very comfortable.” Gray whispers into my ear, his attempt to lighten the mood incredibely apparent. “And if you let me I’d love to do your hair, too. I’ll deny this if you ever try to share the information, but I went through a cosmetology phase maybe seventy years ago and am pretty good at an updo.”

I choke back a laugh at his admittance, my attention completely captured as I pull back and look into his eyes for the truth. He looks nothing short of earnest as he stares down at me, his eyebrows raised in question as he waits for my answer.

Instead of giving him one, I tilt my head to the side and watch him in mild interest. This man is such an enigma. Not having the heart to tell him that what was fashionable seventy years ago is no longer going to be popular today, I nod my head and agree to his request.

It’s not like I’d be able to do any better. The most I’ve ever done to my rat’s nest is throwing it up in a loose, scraggly braid.

Fashion isn’t exactly top of mind when the only people you ever interact with are your parents.

Gray’s grin is nothing short of infectious as he lifts me off the bed and carries me into his bedroom.

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FYI- As I’m working through editing previous books and getting ready to self-publish, I decided to change my pseudonym to one that actually resembles a name haha. I wanted to keep it close to Invicta Writing, & decided to go with Invi Wright. I believe I’ve changed all relevant links and stuff, but wanted to let you all know so you don’t get confused by the new name!

Read the completed book 1 (50 chaps) & ongoing book 2 on Patreon! patreon.com/inviwright

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