Warning: Adult content! Sex and extreme violence.


Disentangling myself from human limbs and knotted folds of duvet was only marginally less difficult than being bound hand and foot while in the coils of a constricting serpent. Yet through all my labored motions, the limbs remained immobile so that I thought perhaps they belonged to several corpses.

Finally free, I struggled into a standing position, keeping my eyes closed tight in attempt to ignore the spinning of the walls within the room. Beams of intense red light battered holes through the retinas, even with my eyes shut, while a full timpani orchestra thundered a staccato rhythm into my brain. Memories of last night, intermittent stills from a bad movie, faded in and out like images in a kaleidoscope shown through bottled glass.

I sat on the bed and breathed slow and deep in attempt at persuading my stomach to retain the concoction of alien contents that had been forced inside a few hours earlier - whatever those contents might be. I wished I could remember what we were drinking; I would swear on my mother’s life never to touch the stuff again.

Opening my eyes, I watched the tousled, sandy haired head of the figure lying prone on the floor, motionless beneath the quilt. I tried to remember the name of this one. Damn, I could not even remember my own name. Nor could I remember why we had decided the floor was more comfortable than the bed. It may have been security from the assumption that being already at the lowest point in the room, we could fall no further.

The siren from an emergency vehicle passed along the street somewhere beyond the walls, the wailing tone reverberating to the backing of sledgehammers, pounding on steel drums inside my head. From the amount of daylight filtering into the room, it must have been around seven in the morning.

I had spent the entire night with just one man. I would have expected no more than two hours unless he paid considerably more, and I could not remember Cervilon informing me he had. Bran! That was it. His name was Bran. The memory churned up through my consciousness like festering mud in a cess-pit. TeeRaigo Bran, Under-cover Investigator. Almost mesmerized, I sat staring at the tips of white feathers protruding from the cover of the makeshift bed we had shared before realizing they were mine.

Dropping to my knees, I reached beneath the bedding to pull from his hand three of my secondary flight feathers. I cursed under my breath. This was now four he had taken from my wings since we met. At this rate I would be plucked bald long before next year when the new feathers would grow. The thought undid my earlier attempts to pacify my stomach. Lurching to my feet, I stumbled into the bathroom, knelt at the toilet my head hanging over the bowl, and threw up.

For fifteen minutes, I remained retching like I was attempting to bring my entire gut up through my throat. Each time I dragged air into my heaving lungs, the fetid taste in my mouth brought another convulsion from my belly. Even when convinced nothing remained, not even the walls of my stomach, I dared not move. I sat on the toilet, my white feathered wings drooping and bedraggled like wet foliage, and my head feeling so disoriented, so detached from my body, I needed both hands to hold it in place.

Another twenty minutes, and I had recovered to only feeling half dead. After swilling out my mouth with cold water, and splashing more over my eyes, I felt I could face reality of the consequences for what had transpired through the night. A shower would have been a good idea to remove the stench of stale sex that lingered around my loins, but my head was still too fragile to tolerate the brunt of cascading water. Taking a deep breath, I returned to the hotel bedroom to survey the damage.

The figure beneath the quilt had still not moved. I could see him breathing, and there was a smile on his lips. The bastard! I kicked him hard where I imagined his ribs were.

TeeRaigo Bran groaned and rolled onto his back, stretching out beneath the duvet. His eyes flickered open and closed several time before locking on to me. “Sorry,” I said giving him a look of sweet, child-like innocence. “Did I wake you?”

“Loriel.” The smile spread across his face. “God! That was some night.” He looked at the watch on his wrist. “Would you like breakfast now? Or maybe…” He lifted the corner of the quilt as if inviting me to join him.

I kicked him again, this time, my foot nicely positioned between his thighs, directly into the crotch. There was a satisfying squeal like a castrated piglet and he sat up.

“What was that for?” The timbre of his voice had risen by half an octave.

“For these…” I threw the feathers, fluttering at his head, “and getting me so drunk last night.”

“Me? If I remember correctly, I couldn’t keep you away from the bottle. You were drinking Wormwood like it was water. How was I to know you couldn’t take your liquor? For someone who said they never drink with a customer, you certainly changed your tune. And the feathers came out when you were laid on your back thrashing your wings and screaming at me to fuck your brains out.”

Wormwood! So that was why I felt so bad. Probably the most lethal demon brew ever created. No wonder I felt like an un-dead harpy this morning. “And you soon changed your mind for someone who swore they would never pay a prostitute for sex. Couldn’t keep it in your pants, could you?” To be honest, I had no idea if we did or not, but I could not let his comment go without retaliating.

“Of course, you won’t remember passing out before we could, even if I’d wanted to, will you?”

Damn him. That was not what I wanted to hear. I had every intention of calling his bluff. “Then why did I wake to find you all over me in a makeshift bed we so obviously shared and I still stink of sex.”

Don’t blame me for the smell. You did that on your own. God! I thought you were going to hurt yourself with that wine bottle. Look, I’m sorry Loriel.” His voice softened. “I really don’t want to fight with you. If you want to believe we had sex, then fine by me. It’s not as though I didn’t pay your boss.”

Well, it’s a bit late for not fighting and normally, if a man wants me to spend the whole night with him, he pays considerably more. Where are my clothes?” I could remember stripping in the bathroom, but did not see them there when I was sick. “I need to get dressed. If you remember, I have a living to earn.”

“How much more do you want for last night? In fact how much more do you want to spend the rest of the day with me?”

TeeRaigo Bran certainly knew how to surprise a girl. I could only stare at him. Well, I had never spent more than three hours with a client.

He continued, “Or should I phone Cervilon and make the arrangements with him?”

“No… no, he will not be awake until mid day.” I was beginning to feel a bit awkward. After all, I did have the choice of whether to drink or not. “What do you have in mind for us to do for a full day?”

“I hope I might persuade you to show me the cathedral where you entered our world.”

“Why do you want to look at a heap of moldering old stone. There is nothing to see; acid rain has damaged the masonry and the inside has been gutted.” I shivered, realizing just how cool was the air of early morning.

Bran must have seen it. “Are you cold?” He lifted the quilt again. “I was trying to say earlier you could be suffering from hypothermia. If your anatomy is similar to a human the alcohol will have thinned your blood and you will feel the cold.”

With a lot of difficulty, I snuggled in beside him, my wings making such an action all the more difficult. For a moment, I considered how much more intimate a relationship could be without wings. He wrapped one arm round my lower back under the feathers, drawing me into his warmth. I noticed he was still wearing shorts although his chest was bare. There was a fine growth of light colored hair over the muscles in his chest, and he smelt of fresh pine forest and mountain spring water. I could not think of him as my dream-hunk, but he was certainly better looking than most of the men I had entertained.

“I hope my kick to your testicles was not too painful,” I almost felt apologetic as I spoke, although the loss of feathers still rankled with me. Placing my hand over the area I believed was my target, I caressed the warm soft bulge through the shorts and tried to guess how quickly I could get him aroused. It was more than professional satisfaction that made me want to feel him, rampant, inside of me.

He closed his eyes as I probed with the gentle touch of my fingers. A look, almost like a grimace, appeared on his face as I felt him responding to the massage. He snatched at my wrist pulling the hand away.

“Don’t do that! Can you think of nothing other than sex?”

I was shocked by the anger I detected in his voice. I had frequently been called a nymphomaniac, but never by someone who was, at the same time, rejecting my advances. I was hurt by his refusal. Perhaps he saw the pained expression on my face, as he continued in a gentler tone, “I’m paying for your help; I’m not looking for sexual pleasure.”

“I don’t want you to pay me!” I could snap back at him just as well. “I was doing that because I want to give you pleasure. Can you imagine the thrill that a succubus can give to a human?”

“Yes, I can imagine. I saw what you did to that man in the club. But I told you I have a wife. Can you not see how I will be forever comparing her to you? It would destroy our marriage.”

I could understand his apprehension, but why was I feeling so dejected, almost as if he thought I was not good enough for him. I rolled over, away from him, pulling the duvet with me and closed my eyes. “Well wake me when you want my help again.”

I heard TeeRaigo Bran give a long, drawn out sigh, but he did not try to take back the covers. I was happy to let him feel the cold.