Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Succubus Dreams CHAPTER 14 Free Essays

I worked an evening shift that day and had made plans to have lunch with Maddie. She and I had worked several shifts together in the last week or so, but things were getting so crazy at the store that we hardly had a chance to talk anymore. â€Å"Well, aren’t we the rebels?† she said when the waiter set two margaritas on the table. We will write a custom essay sample on Succubus Dreams CHAPTER 14 or any similar topic only for you Order Now We were at the â€Å"unholy† place Peter, Cody, and Hugh had tried to lure me out to a few nights ago. â€Å"Nah,† I said, licking the edge of my glass. Salt and lime juice were proof of God’s existence. And tequila was proof of Satan’s. â€Å"We don’t work for three more hours. We’ll be sober by then. Besides, I’m your superior, and I say it’s okay.† We clinked glasses and drank up. â€Å"I feel like I’m boring,† she told me halfway through our meal. â€Å"Not true.† â€Å"It is. I don’t do anything with my life.† She held the glass by its stem, swirling the contents around and around. â€Å"Doug goes out every night, either to practice or party or whatever. Me? If I’m not at work, I’m home writing articles or watching reality TV.† â€Å"What do you wish you were doing instead?† â€Å"I don’t know. There are lots of things I’ve thought about. Skydiving. Travel. Always kind of wanted to go to South America. But it’s hard, you know? Those kinds of things force you to break out of your comfort zone.† â€Å"There’s no reason you can’t do those things. You’re smart and capable, and I think you’re braver than you give yourself credit for.† She smiled. â€Å"Why are you such a cheerleader for me?† â€Å"Because you’re awesome.† The truth was, I was starting to realize, Maddie reminded me of myself when I’d been mortal. Not entirely comfortable with my body (I’d been insanely tall). Not always so adept socially (my sharp attitude had gotten me in trouble a lot). That version of me was centuries gone, but a kernel of it would always be within me. I gestured the waiter over and shook my glass at him. â€Å"Hey, Josh. Can you hook me up?† Josh the waiter, who looked too young to drink, took the glass with a grin. â€Å"You bet. Same thing?† â€Å"Yep. Although†¦I hate to tell you this, but it was kind of weak.† Josh adopted an offended air. â€Å"Was it? I’ll yell at the bartender immediately. Maybe I’ll make him come over and apologize on bended knee.† â€Å"No need,† I said magnanimously. â€Å"Just have him add an extra shot this time.† He gave a gallant bow and winked. â€Å"As you command.† Maddie groaned when he was gone. â€Å"See? I could never flirt that way. Certainly not with jailbait like him.† â€Å"Sure you can.† She shook her head. â€Å"No. I have the worst luck with men.† â€Å"How is that possible? You’re always saying funny things to me.† â€Å"You’re not a man. And I’m not afraid of you,† she explained. â€Å"You’re afraid of Josh the waiter?† â€Å"Well†¦no, not exactly. But I just get so self-conscious. All flustered and stuff.† I leaned forward and spoke in a conspiratorial tone. â€Å"Trade secret. Everyone’s self-conscious. Act like you aren’t, and you’ll be a superstar.† Josh brought me my margarita. I thanked him with more flirting while Maddie looked thoughtful. When he went to check on another table, she sighed. â€Å"Did you know that I’ve only ever slept with two guys?† â€Å"So?† â€Å"So, I’m twenty-nine! Isn’t that sad?† I thought about my track record. No point even trying to count. â€Å"Just means you have standards.† She grimaced. â€Å"You haven’t met the guys.† â€Å"So find a good one. Plenty of them out there.† I had a weird flash of d? ¦j? ¤ vu to past conversations with Tawny. â€Å"Not that I’ve seen. Well, except maybe Seth. He’s one of the good ones.† She sighed. â€Å"He still hasn’t mentioned our date.† â€Å"Hasn’t he?† I’d have to get on him about that. â€Å"Yeah. Unless babysitting his nieces counts.† She shrugged. â€Å"It’s okay. Like I said, I know he just did it because he felt bad. I appreciate the gesture. Oh hey, I overheard Seth saying something to Doug about how you wanted a Christmas tree. Are you having trouble finding one or something?† I groaned. â€Å"Not that again.† â€Å"So†¦you don’t want one? Or do you? You seem like the kind of person who would.† â€Å"Honestly? I’m indifferent.† I shook my head. â€Å"It’s something my friend Peter started, then he told Seth.† She cut me a suspicious look. â€Å"You know, you sure seem to hang out with Seth a lot.† â€Å"Hey, you can be friends with nice guys too.† I had no idea why I still felt the need to keep my relationship with Seth a secret. Some instinct told me it was the right thing to do. â€Å"Too bad,† said Maddie, finishing her own margarita. â€Å"I bet he’d treat his girlfriend like a princess.† â€Å"Yeah,† I agreed wryly. â€Å"So long as that princess doesn’t mind a mistress. Sometimes I think his writing will always be his first love.† To my surprise, Maddie didn’t laugh or look outraged. â€Å"Well, I think that’s the price you’ve gotta pay if you want to be with a man like that. It might be worth it.† Now I became pensive, wondering if this was true. Was I too hard on Seth and his distractibility? When lunch wrapped up, we walked back – not too tipsy – to the bookstore. I nudged Maddie as we stepped inside. â€Å"Okay, here’s the deal. In the next week, I want you to do three adventurous things.† She looked startled. â€Å"What kind of adventurous things?† â€Å"I don’t know.† I pondered, thinking I might be drunker than I’d suspected. â€Å"The adventurous kind. Go out clubbing. Wear red lipstick. Doesn’t matter. All I know is that there’s going to be a pop quiz later, okay?† â€Å"That’s ridiculous. It’s not that easy,† she said with a scowl, turning away. â€Å"You can’t just make something like that happen.† â€Å"Did I just hear you tell Maddie to go clubbing?† Seth’s voice asked a moment later. She was already halfway across the store, and I doubted she’d take me up on my challenge. Too bad. I turned around to face him. â€Å"I’m helping her live life.† â€Å"By drinking in the middle of the day?† he teased. I pointed upstairs. â€Å"Don’t you have a book to finish? I’ll talk to you later. I have important things to do.† I felt only a little bad about dismissing him, seeing as we had dinner plans and would see each other later. He wandered off to write, and I threw myself into my work. Someone was home sick, so I got to be out amid the holiday shopping frenzy. Maddie worked a register beside me, and I was pleased to see how cheery and charismatic she was with customers. When closing time came, I stopped in front of the newspapers, looking for†¦well, I didn’t know what. But I hadn’t forgotten about that poor drowning victim. I wondered if there might be more about him – or more about anything that might help me figure out what was happening to me in my sleep. Sadly, the headlines offered no insight today. Seth and I drove to Pioneer Square for our late dinner and unsurprisingly couldn’t find parking. We ended up several blocks away and were freezing by the time we entered the restaurant. The trek was worth it, though. This place was one of my favorites, serving up Cajun food spicy enough to chase away the winter chill. With gumbo and ? ¦touff? ¦e, it was hard to brood for too long. We’d almost finished dessert when my cell phone rang. I didn’t recognize the number. â€Å"Hello?† â€Å"Hey, Georgina. This is Vincent.† â€Å"Hey,† I said, surprised to be hearing from him. â€Å"Look, I really need to talk to you in person. Is there any way I can see you?† â€Å"Right now?† â€Å"Yeah†¦it’s kind of important.† I glanced over at Seth, who was finishing the last of his bread pudding. He was so easygoing, I doubted he’d mind if Vincent stopped by. â€Å"I’m out with Seth†¦Ã¢â‚¬  â€Å"It’ll just take a few minutes,† Vincent promised. â€Å"Okay.† I told him where we were, and he told me he’d be there shortly. He wasn’t kidding. I’d barely explained the situation to Seth when Vincent walked into the restaurant. â€Å"What’d you do, fly over here?† I asked as he slid into a chair beside us. â€Å"Nah, I was just close.† He gestured to the remnants of our desserts. â€Å"Looks good.† â€Å"It was great,† I said. â€Å"Now, what’s up?† He hesitated and glanced in Seth’s direction. â€Å"It’s fine. Seth knows everything,† I assured him. The waitress came by and dropped off our receipt and change. Vincent studied Seth a moment more, then turned back to me. â€Å"Okay. I just have a quick question for you. We can talk about it on our way out.† The three of us set out into the cold again, heading toward Seth’s car. â€Å"So,† Vincent began. â€Å"Remember that story you told me a little while ago? About the cop shooting his partner?† â€Å"Yup.† â€Å"Where’d you hear it?† We walked in silence for a few moments as I tried to remember. â€Å"I don’t know. Probably on TV. Maybe I saw the headline at the store. Can’t recall.† â€Å"Are you sure?† I frowned. â€Å"Positive.† Vincent sighed. â€Å"Well, here’s the thing. I looked into that story and had a hard time finding out anything. It was never made public. I actually had to go investigate with some police sources.† â€Å"It had to have been made public. How else would I have known?† â€Å"That’s what I’m trying to figure out.† I racked my brain. Where had I heard it? No clue. I’d just known it when I talked to Vincent that day. But, obviously, it hadn’t sprung up in my head out of the blue. â€Å"Do you know anybody in the police department?† he suggested. â€Å"No one I would have talked to. Maybe I overheard someone. Seriously, I just†¦I just can’t remember.† â€Å"What’s the story?† Seth asked me. Puzzle pieces suddenly fell together. The cop was just like the guy who’d swam Puget Sound. Both had had a vision of something that wasn’t true, but their subsequent actions had brought it about. And I had known about both stories before I should have. â€Å"Georgina?† asked Seth. â€Å"This cop went crazy in a store and started – â€Å" â€Å"Okay, just stop. Just fucking stop.† The three of us jerked to a halt as the voice came out of the darkness. In heading toward our remote parking spot, we’d strayed quite a ways away from the hustle and bustle of Pioneer Square. And from around a corner, a man in need of a shave and clean clothes had emerged. He made Carter look genteel. Muggings were rare in Seattle, but statistics meant little when actually being mugged. The man had a gun aimed at us. â€Å"Give me everything you’ve got,† he growled. He had kind of a wide-eyed, paranoid look, and I wondered if he was on something. Again, it meant little. He had a gun. We didn’t. â€Å"Every fucking thing. Wallet. Jewelry. Whatever. I’ll shoot. I swear to God, I will.† I took a step in front of Seth and Vincent, small enough not to raise the guy’s alarms but enough to put me in the line of fire. I’d been shot before. It hurt, but it couldn’t kill me. My humans were the ones in danger. â€Å"Sure,† I said, reaching into my purse. I kept my voice low and soothing. â€Å"Whatever you want.† â€Å"Hurry up,† he snapped. His gun was aimed squarely at me now, which was fine. Behind me, I heard Seth and Vincent rustling around for their wallets as well. With a pang, I realized I’d have to give up Seth’s ring, which I’d worn on a chain around my neck tonight, but that was a small price to pay if we all walked away from this unscathed. Suddenly, I saw movement in my peripheral vision. Before I could stop him, Seth lunged forward toward the man and slammed him into the side of the brick building near us. I had never taken Seth for the fighting type, but it was actually pretty impressive. Unfortunately, it was not needed at the moment. Vincent and I sprang into the fray, moving at exactly the same time. The guy had been forced to lower his gun while Seth pinned him against the wall, but the attacker was struggling with the ferocity of a bear. Vincent and I tried to add our own strength, mainly hoping to wrest the gun away. It was one of those moments in time that seemed both really long and really short. Then, the gun went off. My two companions and I stopped moving. The guy used the brief lull to wiggle away from us and ran off into the night. I exhaled a breath of relief, grateful it was all over. â€Å"Georgina – † said Vincent. Seth sank to his knees, and that’s when I saw the blood. It was all over his left thigh, dark and slick in the watery light of a flickering streetlight. His face was pale and wide-eyed with shock. â€Å"Oh, God.† I fell down beside him, trying to get a look at the leg. â€Å"Call 911!† I screamed at Vincent. Having anticipated me, he already had his cell out. Some part of my brain listened to him speaking frantically into the phone, but the rest of my attention was on Seth. â€Å"Oh God, oh God,† I said, ripping off my coat. Blood was pouring steadily out of the wound. I pressed my coat into it, trying to slow the bleeding. â€Å"Hang with me. Oh, please, please, hang with me.† Seth’s eyes looked at me with both tenderness and pain. His lips parted slightly, but no words came out. I lifted the coat and looked at the wound. Vincent knelt beside me. â€Å"It won’t stop, it won’t stop,† I moaned. Vincent peered over my shoulder. â€Å"Femoral artery.† After over a millennium, I knew the human body and what could kill it. I would have realized what kind of a shot this was if I hadn’t been so hysterical. â€Å"It’ll drain him,† I whispered, pressing the coat into his leg again. I had seen it happen before, watched people bleed to death right in front of me. â€Å"It’ll kill him before they get here. That bullet hit perfectly.† Beside me, I heard Vincent take a deep, shaking breath. Then, his hands covered mine. â€Å"Take it away,† he said softly. â€Å"I have to slow the bleeding.† But he gently lifted my hands away, taking the coat up as well. There was blood everywhere. I imagined I could see it steaming in the cold air. Vincent rested his hands on Seth’s thigh, oblivious to the mess. Words formed on the tip of my tongue but never came out. The air around us began burning, and a prickling feeling raced across my skin. For a moment, Seth seemed to be bathed in white light. From Vincent, I suddenly had the sensation of dried lavender and humidity. It was tinged in something else†¦something I’d never hoped to sense again. Then, it all faded away. Vincent removed his hands, and when I looked down, blood no longer oozed from Seth’s thigh. â€Å"I’m sorry,† gasped Vincent. â€Å"I’m not so good at healing, and if I do any more, the others will sense me. This will keep him alive until the ambulance gets here.† In the distance, I heard the faint sounds of sirens. In my chest, my heart thudded. The world slowed its pace. How long had Vincent said he’d known Yasmine? Fifteen years. Too, too long. He didn’t look any older than thirty. They hadn’t met when he was a teen. The timing didn’t make sense. Neither did the fact that he had just healed a major injury. But none of that was as telling as what else I’d already discovered. For just a moment, he’d let his defenses slip, and I’d felt – an immortal signature. And while immortals have unique features of their own, all types of immortals have certain attributes that identify them by creature as well. Succubi. Vampires. Angels. Demons. Vincent’s signature had given him away. The others will sense me. I stared at Vincent as red flashing lights rounded the corner. My eyes were as wide as Seth’s had been. â€Å"You’re a nephilim,† I breathed. How to cite Succubus Dreams CHAPTER 14, Essay examples

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