Sleep so wasn’t happening and there was one thing worse than an insatiable itch across my abdomen, and that was the gnawing hunger that was making me see red. I found myself wandering the streets heading to the one place that could offer some small sense of relief to a succubus such as myself. If I didn’t get the sexual nourishment I needed soon, I would die. It was kind of ironic. A part of me felt like I was meant to be loyal to a select few, yet my nature compelled me to seek nourishment and filled me with a lustful need that pushed away any rationalization. My fingers slipped under the low hem of my shirt and scratched at the blasted runes that wouldn’t leave me alone with their incessant itching. I cast a glance at the sky, almost expecting the claws from my nightmares to streak through the low, sleepy clouds and come after me, but nothing happened.
Even if the nightmares were all in my head, I was still a succubus, and the starvation I’d been subjecting myself to was very real, and very dangerous. Sarah would find me in the afterlife and kill me all over again if I allowed myself to starve when all this time she was convinced that she could satiate my magical, sexual nourishment needs.
The last place in the world I wanted to be was a slum like Seattle’s Succubi Den. The tattered awning peeked through the foggy horizon surrounded by slanted buildings. Approaching it, I pulled my hoodie closer around my face, but my sensual gait betrayed what I was. I couldn’t hide my nature, and I hated how I was growing nauseatingly accustomed to handing over a hundred dollar bill to a round-faced succubus who leaned over a polished counter.
Fucking paying for it. So humiliating.
She'd started the business to help succubi and incubi who'd run into unique difficulties with their life-sucking magic, but finding enough willing participants to donate their life-force didn’t come for free. She probably thought I was sick, because I kept coming back. Sometimes the magical wells got clogged, be it a magical manifestation or an emotional one. We needed sex to survive, or at least we needed to feed off sexual energy. Pain tingled along my fingertips and was the first warning sign that I was getting close to my own mortal limit of enduring abstinence.
“Why do you keep coming back, hun?” the succubus named Lucy asked with a concerned knit to her brow. She gave me a once-over, noting my fingers still under my shirt scratching away like some kind of drug addict. Aside from my quirks, I was the perfect succubus. Her eyes roamed over my voluptuous boobs that only got in the way, and noted my plump lips. She sighed. “I know there's nothing wrong with your magic. I just can’t work out why you need a Den.”
I glared at her until she produced a golden key to my assigned bedroom. It was none of her business. When I took the key, I decided to humor her this time. Maybe she’d understand. “I've got a girlfriend,” I muttered.
She painted on a fake smile, but homosexuality in the succubi community was widely frowned upon. I didn’t expect judgment from a do-gooder like Lucy, but there was pity in her eyes.
By our nature, we could only feed on those of the opposite sex. To maintain a relationship with a same-sex partner was both unfair and unsatisfactory on both sides. Most succubi enjoyed the occasional orgy or threesome, but a one-on-one relationship with a same-sex partner just wasn’t done, even in a community designed around sex.
“That's a shame,” she said as I walked away. “We have a program for that.”
Bristling, I shot back, “I don't need fixing. I just need breakfast.”
“Well hello again, sweetheart,” a handsome incubus greeted me as he lewdly stretched over silk bedsheets. I didn’t know his name, and I wanted to keep it that way. All I needed to know was that he had enough power to keep me alive without making me break my promise to Sarah.
A hundred dollars bought me ten minutes with the den’s most powerful incubi, and even if ten minutes wasn’t much, it was all I needed not to fall over and wither into a pile of Sonya-shaped dirt.
Without wasting time, I crawled over him and bit his lip hard enough to make him flinch. “No talking,” I reminded him of our golden rule. It was bad enough that I had to do this. I wanted to get what I needed, and then get out of here, wiping my memory clean as best I could.
As his hands wrapped around my hips and grated me over his stiffening erection, separating us only by a thin layer of sheets and my own clothes, his fingers squeezed as I began the feed.
The soft magic of his life-force bled into me and I gasped with slight relief. Knocking my head back, my eyes fluttered closed as he kissed his way down my neck and peeled away my shirt. I flinched when his fingers ran over the raised scar of my runes and I pushed his hands away. He wasn’t allowed to touch me there. Something deep within me knew that those runes weren’t meant for him. He obeyed, his touch and kisses going to the soft skin of my neck and the taut skin around my thighs. Numbness fled from my extremities and a satisfying warmth curled in my belly. The itch from my rune still persisted, but at least it was more manageable when I had the energy to ignore it.
“It’s been months of foreplay,” he complained. “You only tease me, succubus.”
I jerked and wrapped my fingers around his neck. He only grinned at my anger. “I said no talking.”
He offered me a slow nod of agreement and shifted me over him, rubbing through my jeans with his erection that was now in full force.
His arousal gave me a surplus of energy and what I couldn’t feed on filtered through the air in an unused hint of sweat and sex. I wanted to go farther, to give into the temptation to sheath him and ride out this aching need inside of me. I could survive with these snacks, but every time, I grew just a little bit weaker when I denied a climax my body craved.
“I see it in your eyes,” he purred, his grin coming back to taunt me. “You’re going to need to feed soon, really feed, not just these little snacks, and if you don’t give in, you’re going to harm yourself.” He lifted me with an ease that pissed me off. He flipped me on my back and gave me a deep kiss. Part of me wanted to toss him off, but I reminded myself that I was still halfway clothed. I was still protected by fabric that stretched its restriction across my hips and kept him from pushing me to do something I knew I’d regret.
When he went for my zipper, I snatched his fingers in the strongest grip I could manage. “No,” I told him. “You know the rules.”
He sighed, because even if he was a powerful incubus, I was still his client. “Very well,” he said, and leaned in to graze his lips across my neck. “When you’re ready, I’ll be here, and what you really need will be on the house.”
Shivering, even though Seattle was humidly hot during the day, I wrapped my fingers around my elbows and marched away from Seattle’s Succubi Den as the sun banished most of the fog. This was the moment I painfully wiped away my memories of kisses and teasing at the hands of an incubus I’d paid to be with. Sarah didn’t know, couldn’t know, that I had to resort to a Den to stay alive. She believed that I could feed on her, and because she was a muse, she was strong enough to survive me.
I couldn’t tell her the truth. Not yet.
But this time, the need inside of me hadn’t relaxed. I’d banished only the worst of the pains that came with starvation from abstinence. But even though I still tasted the musky delight of an incubus on my lips, he’d been right. I couldn’t keep this up for much longer. I doubled over when my rune changed its reminder from an itch to a stab of pain, just like I’d been gouged by a blade. I groaned and lifted my shirt, cursing when a drop of blood squeezed from the center of the rune that had turned so black it was in danger of scabbing over.
“Damn it,” I spat, and marched back home towards Sarah.
What the fuck was I going to do now?