Feature Writer: CorruptingPower
Feature Title: THE DEVIL’S DETAILS 4
Story Codes: Demonic
Synopsis: A young paralegal finds herself entwined in a demonic game
The Devil’s Details 4
“Are you going to go duel the nephilim?” the Ostrogoth asked her. “I’m not entirely certain what your challenge involved, but if it is going to be a fight to the death, I might suggest it not be done in such a public venue. I know the urge to rush into battle can be great and consuming, but those of us who live within the underbelly of the dark world must maintain a certain level of consideration on how we affect the veil and the protection it gives us.”
Tabitha would’ve thought it very easy to write off the Ostrogoth as a sort of immortal himbo, but there was a depth to the man’s words and tones that made it clear to do would be a mistake that might come back and bite her in the ass sooner or later, one that clearly over twelve thousand souls had made before her, and that was more than plenty to ensure that she wouldn’t allow her name to be added to that list. His advice was counsel worth heeding.
“I wouldn’t say it’s a duel, but I can assure you, one of us is going to totally come out on top,” Tabitha chuckled, taking a sip from her flute of wine. Now that she was embracing her inherited demonic senses, everything seemed so much more vivid than it had just days ago. The scent of perfumes, the taste of wine, the rhythmic thumping of the bass in the track the DJ was playing their way… all of it felt intense, like her entire life had been lived out of focus and now she was wearing glasses for the first time, introduced to a world that had been all around her the entire time as she moved mostly oblivious through it. “And there may be some bruising involved.”
“AH,” Kai said, nodding his head. “Dominance and submission, likely of a sexual fashion. I have fought a few of those style of duels in my time, although certainly not as many as I’m certain both Casanova and Aspasia have.”
“Casanova’s still alive?” Tabitha asked, her interest in her target momentarily deflected, especially since Kelly seemed to be surrounded by autograph seekers and press people. There were too many witnesses for her to make her move, so it would need to be something she would be patient on. Opportunity would present itself soon enough, she felt confident. Allow for time and strike only at the correct moment. “And who’s Aspasia?”
“Both of them are like me, members of The Elite, legends that, through our prowess in some field or another, have become demi-gods, attaining an imperfect form of immortality,” Kai told her. “As long as we remain at the top of our game, we do not age, we do not weaken, we do not die.”
“So you’re immortal,” Tabitha said, finding the whole subject fascinating.
“Of a sort, little demoness, but like most forms of power, it is frail and subject to its own limitations,” he said as the waiter tried to slink by him, but the giant of a man reached over and grabbed a handful more of the deviled eggs he’d had earlier. “I did say our form of immortality was imperfect. We can killed just like any other human. Shot, stabbed, hung, crushed, drowned… it all works just the same. In fact, accidents are the highest cause of death among the Elite. Casanova is the greatest male lover of women alive. Aspasia is the greatest female lover of men alive. There is, assuredly, a greatest male lover of men alive, and a greatest female lover of women alive, but my path and theirs have never crossed, so they are unknown to me.” He paused for a moment, chuckling, as he tilted his head back, lost in memory for a moment. “Actually, I may not know them specifically, but I suspect they were likely both there at the Great Naples Orgy, but then again, who wasn’t?” He laughed, bouncing his eyebrows. “It was a hell of a time, and Aspasia is one hell of a woman…”
“Worth of the title of ‘greatest female lover of men,’ then?”
“Oh, ja, that and so much more. I am blessed that the memory itself has faded over time, because for over a hundred years after that, every woman felt like just a pale imitation of what true sexual ecstasy had been in those wee hours of my time in Naples,” he said, trying to jostle himself from the memory, as if he was afraid he would tumble down the rabbit hole again if he thought about it too long. “In fact, I’ve yet to go back to Naples since.”
“Why, Kai,” she teased. “You almost sound like you’re afraid.”
He scowled at her, his eyebrow dropping as he turned to look at her, and for just a moment, she regretted speaking the comment aloud. “The Ostrogoth fears nothing, demoness, and you would be wise to remember that, unless you wish to be another scratch on the hilt of my blade.”
“My apologies, Kai,” she said, seeing if she could smooth this over quickly. “I was simply hoping to encourage you to confront your memories rather than retreat from them.”
He smiled and it carried with it the centuries of experience the man had built. “There is nothing to be ashamed of in a retreat, demoness. I have gotten where I am by knowing how, when and where to provoke those in need of a duel, but that does not mean I run blindly into every fight I see. So many wish to duel in other manners these days that I rarely get the chance to let my sword breathe.”
“What do you mean ‘other manners?'”
“Sometimes it is socially. Sometimes it is financially. More often than not, it is a wager to be first at something, to acquire something, to achieve something… those types of things. They often result in mortal wounds, but not fatal, where someone is destroyed but not killed.” He sniffed, as if he found the challenges of lesser status, but still things he needed to engage with never the less. “The stronger of those who survive such duels can sometimes go on to become excellent adversaries, but often they simply end their own life in shame.”
“Fuck, Kai, remind me not to piss you off,” Tabitha said with a laugh. “What other kinds of Elite are there?”
“The greatest shooter. The best painter. The finest military tactician. The most engaging writer. The deadliest unarmed combatant. The most moving musician. Creators and destroyers in equal measure. Hell, The Storyteller is so old, I think he’s forgotten his own original name by now. Either that, or he’s had so many assumed names, he can’t separate his fiction from his history.”
“How do they remain undiscovered?”
He nodded, as if she had made a particularly salient point. “It’s more challenging now than it’s ever been, but the creators create by proxy. Different names, different supporting teams, whatever it takes to let someone else take the credit for their hard work,” he said with a shrug. “Such is the price of eternity. Well, one of them, anyway.”
It looked as the crowd around Kelly was starting to dwindle down a little, and despite the fact that Veronica had yet to return, Tabitha didn’t feel like waiting any more, so she decided to make her move. “Excuse me, Kai. I do believe I need to go introduce myself. I do hope we meet again, and still under such non-opposed interests.”
“Battle on, little demoness,” Kai replied, raising his glass of whiskey in toast to her. “May the only broken blade belong to your enemy.”
Tabitha couldn’t see where Veronica and Sandy had gone, but she’d spent more than enough time in her life waiting for permission, and those days were behind her now. The new Tabitha moved when she chose to, and let those who opposed her quiver in fear. Her most opportune moment was now, and she refused to let it pass her by.
Where the old Tabitha would’ve done her best to slip and slide between the various people, trying not to be noticed or imposing on anyone, she now walked through the crowd and let them instinctively part around her, as if the very presence of her moving through them encouraged them to slip away from her, out of deference or respect, but all without them even truly noticing they were doing it. The simple volume of Tabitha’s presence made people reflexively make way for her to move through them, even if they weren’t aware they were doing it. The crowd simply drifted away from the path she intended to take, opening up for her like the Red Sea before Moses.
The number of fame seekers crowded Kelly had dwindled enough that could see her, far better than the fleeting glimpse she’d caught when Kelly entered the room. She’d wanted to let her eyes take her in within that moment, but the crowd had surged and swelled around her, and whatever image she had was gone, buried beneath a wave of people.
Now, however, Tabitha could truly size up her prey, especially as she grew closer to her. The woman was incredibly fit, there was no denying it. In anticipation of the event, perhaps, her handlers must have convinced her to wear the team uniform, because she was dressed in the same clothes she’d been wearing in the footage of her playing, the jersey, the short shorts, the ankle-high socks and the white athletic shoes. It clung to her like it was deliberately a little too snug, also likely the choice of a marketing person, hoping that the ‘sex sells’ mantra still held true, even when it came to lesbians. The fabric clung to her provocatively, so the lines of her sports bra and her panties were easily visible through the fabric.
Tabitha couldn’t wait to rip them off her.
She wasn’t especially tall, but definitely in remarkable shape. Small breasted, as athletes tended to be, with thighs that looked as though they had spent an endless number of mornings doing sprints out on a track. A deliciously pert ass. Blue orbs that looked as though they were growing weary of so many people asking for selfies or autographs. There was something energetic and wholesome about the woman that Tabitha knew concealed a darker, more forceful interior, something she intended to bring back to the foreground again.
“Hello Miss Simone,” Tabitha said, extending her hand. “I’ve been very much looking forward to this meeting.” The lawyers and sychophants faded into the background, and the whole room seemed like it fell quiet, like the sound of the crowd dropped away and disappeared into the ether, like the two of them were the only people in the room.
“You know me, but I don’t know you,” Kelly said to her, taking her hand and shaking it. “So whom do I have the pleasure of meeting?”
“My name’s Tabitha St. Cloud,” she said. “I’m with AOA. Is there some place more private we can chat?”
The look on the woman’s face went from exuberant to crestfallen in between heartbeats. It came back up again between the next two, a familiar and well-crafted defense mechanism falling back into place like tumblers on a safe lock, the visage of safety and security plastered back over her face once more. “Yeah, I have to go do this presentation, but come find me after the announcement’s made,” Kelly said quickly, almost fleeing from Tabitha’s very presence, just as Veronica returned to her side.
“I thought I advised you to wait until I was back before making first contact,” the demoness said, the tip of her tail trailing against the back of one of Tabitha’s calves affectionately, invisible to all but the most mystically attuned of eyes.
“And I thought I made it clear that I would make my own decisions on these matters, Roni,” Tabitha said, her tone of voice conveying not cross but amused with perhaps a tiny amuse bouche of annoyance bubbling up from underneath. “You should have seen the fright that mentioning AOA evoked within her. She hid it very well, but there’s only so much obfuscation one can pull off in these sorts of matters. You must have really put the fear of God into her with your conversation the first time around.”
“She was a little mortified at how she felt like she didn’t know her own strength,” Veronica said, doing her best to be close to Tabitha without seeming overly fawning. “That’s a common enough story with nephilim. They’re stronger, faster, smarter than normal humans, but that means they don’t typically know their own capabilities. They have to learn how to limit themselves to not accidentally overreach. They tend to have some… collateral damage around them during that education.”
Tabitha sighed, shaking her head. “Never push yourself if you can’t control how you’re going to use those abilities.”
The sound of the music started to swell up and the lights came down as the event started to happen. For the next twenty minutes, there was a cavalcade of people parading out, hyping up about Kelly’s achievements, her skill, showing clips and highlights to cheers, before finally one of the heads of Nike stepped up and announced that they would be entering into a three-year endorsement deal with Kelly Simone, an entire year longer than had already been rumored, which was met with raucous cheers from the crowd.
Rather than go to Kelly immediately after the announcement had concluded, Tabitha decided to make Kelly sweat a bit and bode her time. She would glance over from time to time, seeing the crowd continue to ebb and swell around the sports star each time she tried to pry herself away from them. Tabitha somehow knew that if she went over to Kelly, there wouldn’t be anyone getting in her way, but she took a certain joy in watching the athlete do her best to keep her calm with the sword of Damocles hanging over her head.
“Why are we waiting, Mistress?” Veronica finally said to her. “You are sort of on the clock for these things and it seems fickle to waste time this way.”
“We aren’t wasting time, Veronica,” Tabitha said, delight in her voice. “We’re spending it, and wisely.” She found herself a little surprised how naturally all of this was coming to her, but now with the knowledge of where she came from, it seemed only right to put the pedal to the metal and never once look in the rear view mirror. “She expected me to be impatient, eager, but the fact that I’m not going and grabbing her immediately is letting her mind run through a thousand scenarios, each one worse than the one before it. I don’t have to put fear into her heart about our meeting; she’s doing that for me all by herself.”
Once the party began to lose energy, the crowd dispersed quickly, like rats fleeting from a sinking ship. Nobody wanted to be the last person to leave the party, because that was the epitome of ‘uncool,’ and so many of these people were more concerned with their images than anything else.
It wasn’t on its last legs by the time Tabitha made her way back over to Kelly, who had been basically chaperoned by a person from Nike and a person from the football team’s management the entire time she’d been there, but as soon as Tabitha and Veronica headed towards her, Kelly seemed to be doing everything she could to shed herself from the handlers.
When they were nearly upon the trio, Kelly broke away from the two and Tabitha clearly heard the woman say, “There’s nobody important here left, Cyrus, so I’m getting the fuck out of here, okay? The party’s dead anyway.”
As soon as Kelly was free of them, they saw the girl heading straight for them, panic now running rampant in her eyes. “Veronica, what the fuck?” Kelly said to the demoness, trying to keep her voice low and quiet, but the fear clearly affecting her ability to modulate her volume well. “You promised me this was fucking handled.”
“This isn’t about that, Kelly,” Veronica said, placing a hand on Kelly’s shoulder, whether to comfort or calm her, it was unclear, as was whether or not it worked. “Is there somewhere more private we can talk?”
Kelly harumphed a little, rolling her eyes. “Yeah, whatever. They got me a suite here at the hotel to crash at tonight because they were worried about me getting drunk, when I’m like, hey asswipes, I’m not old enough to drink… Hello? Still just 19, fuckwits… C’mon.”
The hotel itself was a remarkable piece of New York history, over a century old, and still owned and run by the same family, although with what Tabitha knew now, she almost wondered if maybe by ‘same family’ it actually meant ‘same person.’ Learning that life and death weren’t quite as static as she’d expected, Tabitha had been working to disabuse herself of assumptions she’d long held dear. It was within the realm of possibility that the hotel had simply had one owner since its inception, and covered it up.
As soon as they got into the elevator, the doors closing to seal the three of them in, Kelly turned to look at Veronica, desperation and confusion plain on her face. “If this isn’t about the one thing, Veronica, then what is it about?”
“Let’s wait until we’re in your suite, Kelly,” Veronica said. “This is the kind of matter we shouldn’t be talking about publicly.”
Tabitha found it entertaining how Kelly kept looking at Veronica like she was running the show, but decided to let the illusion play out for a few minutes longer. The elevator couldn’t seem to most fast enough for Kelly, who was pacing around inside of the car like a caged predator, impatient and agitated. It was clear that while her last experience with AOA had been to her benefit, she hadn’t enjoyed it at all, and Veronica’s unwillingness to answer questions didn’t seem to be helping her mood any, only making it more of an itch she couldn’t scratch.
As soon as the doors opened, Kelly practically sprinted out of the elevator and headed down the hall as fast as she could, trying not to look like she was running, but certainly walking much faster than a person normally would, not even looking back to make sure the two of them were following, reaching into her pocket to fish out her magnetic keycard, having to swipe it three or four times before finally getting the green light, unlocking the door so she could open it and head into the room, only then looking back to make sure that Veronica and Tabitha were ready to enter.
It was only at that point that Kelly probably noticed the level of deference Veronica was showing to Tabitha, allowing her to walk into the room first, her eyes slightly lowered. Once Veronica entered the room, she closed the door behind her, leaving the three of them alone in one of the nicest hotel rooms Tabitha had ever seen.
“What the fuck is going on, Veronica?” Kelly said, stomping over to the mini fridge, opening it to grab a bottle of water from it. “I had genuinely fucking hoped to never see you again.”
“Hey,” Tabitha said, snapping her fingers. “You may have been talking to Veronica before, but I’m in charge now, and you had better get your head around that real quick. I’m the one who called this meeting, so stop fucking looking at her and focus your eyes over here. I know all about what you did to that poor girl, but, but, BUT…” Tabitha could see the girl was panicking and it was time to offer the carrot instead of the stick. “But you need to know it wasn’t entirely your fault, and I’m here to help make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Kelly moved over to a couch in the corner of the room and sat down on it, almost defeated. “What do you mean not ‘entirely’ my fault? I beat the shit out of her. Either it is or isn’t my fault, and I’m pretty sure I was there.”
“Sure, but you weren’t aware of how strong you were, Kelly,” Tabitha said, strolling over towards her. “How strong you are. I can give you a partner who can keep up with you, though. Someone who’s got as voracious an appetite as you, who can push and pull you without worry about you bruising or injuring her. Of course, you’d have to learn that you aren’t always going to be on top, though, and it strikes me that maybe you aren’t comfortable with that.”
“Oh yeah?” Kelly laughed, Icarus daring to race towards the sun, and damned be the consequences. “Who’s gonna be able to keep up with me? You?”
“You’re better believe it,” Tabitha said, stepping over, grabbing Kelly’s ponytail in her slender fingers, yanking with a force that seemed to surprise the athlete, pulling her to her feet, locking lips with her, a slight squeak of surprise. Kelly squirmed, trying to pull away at first before the resistance melted and turned to excitement, wrapping her arms around Tabitha, reaching down to grab the back of her head with one hand, her ass with the other.
The kiss broke and Kelly’s breath was quick, racing, much like the woman’s heartbeat. “Holy fuck,” Kelly whispered. “You’re… you’re strong for as thin as you are.”
“You haven’t even seen the half of it yet,” Tabitha said with a smirk, reaching up to the neckline of the football jersey, grabbing the collar of it with her slender fingers before ripping the jersey straight down the center, from neck to waist, Veronica stepping in behind Kelly to pull her hands free to allow it to drop it off her shoulders.
“Fuck, you’re really strong,” Kelly gasped. “Those shirts don’t tear for fucking anything…”
Tabitha’s wolflike grin spread a little more than she’d intended. “So I’m going to be gathering a stable of fun playmates that you and I can have as much fun as we want to with, and I’m willing to let you into the party, as long as you’re willing to agree to my one condition.”
“What’s that?” Kelly said, her breathing growing even more impatient and shallow.
“I’m in charge. You belong to me. I own you. You’re my bitch and that means you always do exactly what the fuck I say. If I want to ink you, if I want to pierce you, if I want to collar you, your job will be to say ‘yes Mistress,’ ‘thank you Mistress,’ and ‘where did you have in mind, Mistress?’ Your very soul will belong to me.”
Kelly licked her lips. “Fine. Make me. If you can get me to yield, then I’ll be yours. Mind, body and soul, as agreed upon. I dare you. Make me yours.”
“Oh, Kelly,” Tabitha said with a wicked laugh that reverberated through the room like applause. “You already are…”
Tabitha reached down to Kelly’s waist and grabbed both shorts and panties and just ripped them at each leg, shredding them until they fell off and left the sporty athletic woman visible to her eyes, She kept her pubic hair trimmed short but not entirely shaved clean, as if the constant bother of maintaining it would’ve been more hassle than it was worth. She had smaller, pert breasts, but the pinkish nipples were already hard enough that they were like rocks, stiff and poking out, eager for attention, as Tabitha shoved her hand between Kelly’s thighs, forcing three of her fingers right up inside of the woman’s snatch suddenly, a sharp groan escaping her lips as she tried to widen her stance a little.
“Oh F-” Kelly started to say when Tabitha’s other hand reached up and grabbed the athlete by the throat, her slender fingers exerting a remarkable amount of force upon the woman’s windpipe, but the smile on her face made it clear that she enjoyed the sudden lack of control, as she gasped and struggled for air for a moment, while Tabitha’s right hand continued its assault on Kelly’s cunt, which was drenching the darker woman’s fingers.
“I told you that you were my bitch, didn’t I, Kelly? If I let you breathe, I want to hear you say it, want to hear you embrace it.”
Kelly shook her head with a deranged grin, trying to put up some last ditch resistance, although it was clear she was going to cave very soon. Tabitha could feel the woman’s snatch gripping eagerly around her fingertips, especially as she crooked them a little. Tabitha looked at Kelly again, and the woman clenched up and then nodded, as she finally let the football player’s throat go, Kelly coughing, her eyes watered up.
“I belong to you, Mistress. You own me. I am yours,” Kelly said, forcing the words out of her mouth with maximum effort, even while Tabitha’s hand continued to work against the athlete’s cunt, the base of her palm grinding against the blonde’s clit, making her squirm and thrust her hips as best as she could to the darker woman’s touch.
Tabitha did her best to grind down with her thumb even while the three fingers slotted in and out of her forcefully, as Kelly groaned and howled, her eyes rolling back in her head but failing to close, so those whites were completely dominating her sockets.
“You own me, Mistress! Fuck, I’m your little bitch! Fucking cumming! Fuck fuck fuck!” Kelly’s voice was reduced to a banshee’s keen, her hands trying to clamp down onto Tabitha’s thin arms, but completely unable to do anything but hold on for dear life, as the orgasms started to blast through her body like shockwaves, rippling outward from her hips, every nerve in her body lit up like bumpers on a pinball machine, finally giving a gush of clear liquid all over Tabitha’s fingertips before her body slumped, held up by Tabitha’s hands for just a moment before she laid the blonde down on her back atop the bed. Her mouth hung open, her jaw slack, her face a contorted mask of ecstasy from which she had yet to come down.
Tabitha flipped the woman over onto her belly and then slowly dragged her finger against the woman’s lower back, drawing a matching brand to the one she’d placed on Veronica not long earlier. She looked over to the demoness. “Are the adjudicators nearby?”
“For the next month, Mistress, they are always only a few moments away.”
“Go and get them. Bring them here to authenticate this.”
As Veronica stepped out of the room, Tabitha flipped Kelly back onto her back, sliding her fingertips across the woman’s snatch once more before pushing those thighs wide, leaning her head down to run her tongue in one long pass against her dripping slit, simply taking in the taste of her before grinning, standing up, flipping the unconscious girl once more onto her stomach, just as the doors began to open, Shango and Zhurong moving into the room with deliberate speed, the doors closing behind them as Veronica was the last to enter.
“You keep up this rate, and the challenge will be over sooner than is healthy, little demon princess,” Shango said, applying his thumb to the left of the brand Tabitha had drawn on Kelly to apply his lightning bolt shaped S on the tender flesh.
“They will not all be this easy,” Zhurong said, adding his matching fiery Z sigil on the other side. “Your assistant chose well, letting you ramp up the difficulty as you move through your targets, because this one required almost no convincing.”
“I keep meaning to ask,” Tabitha said with a mysterious smile. “How do you know that she’s consented to this? I could just draw this brand on anyone, couldn’t I?”
“Could you?” Shango asked, a lazy grin crossing his massive face, as he extended a dark arm out to her. “Show me.”
Tabitha hesitated, but reached over and drew her fingertip across the god’s bulky forearm, only for nothing to happen. “Well, that’s because you’re a god, I’d assume.”
Zhurong shook his head. “You cannot mark the unwilling, little demoness, no matter how much you might wish to. You can try all you like and see if you can get a result you like, but we can assure you, that way only disappointment lies.”
“Who am I to doubt a god, I suppose?” Tabitha laughed, glancing down at Kelly, rolling her back onto her back, reaching down to flick one of the blonde’s nipples. “You know, maybe I should make you all get pierced nipples, little tags in addition to the brand.”
“Whatever you want, Mistress,” Veronica said demurely.
“You’re goddamned right.” She moved over and shook Shango’s hand, then Zhurong. “Thank you for being nearby. I appreciate you being on call. I can imagine that this isn’t exactly how you wanted to spend your spare time.”
“On the contrary, my dear,” Zhurong said, a wry smile crossing his face. “This is more fun than we’ve had in ages. There were different arbitrators for the last one, and they were only needed for a week, so we are hoping you’re going to give us the full game.”
“Well, old god, I’ll do my best.”
“It remains to be seen if your best will be good enough, but I suspect that time itself will be the only judge of that,” Shango replied, his voice full of bass as he and Zhurong started moving towards the door. “And little demon?”
“Yes, oh Lord of Thunder?” Veronica said to him.
“Remember to cover her up before you take her out of here,” he said, pointing at Kelly’s unconscious body. “Your veil magics are good, but nothing’s quite that good.”
“Be seeing you,” Zhurong said, curling his thumb and forefinger into a ring, holding it in front of his eye before saluting with it. Then the two gods turned and walked towards the door, not bothering to open it, simply passing through it as though it wasn’t even there.
“Showoffs,” Veronica grumbled.
THE END OF CHAPTER FOUR