TG Universes & Series:
A Dark Realms Universe Story
By Dr. Bender
In 1944, Corporal Lance Valantine returns home to Ravencrest a wounded hero after years of spying on the Nazis for the Military Intelligence Service. In 2011, a striking vampire college student calling herself Suzanne, Party Queen of the campus, is hell bent on making tonight a night to remember... or perhaps a night some would wish to forget forever.
What could they possibly have in common?
Killer Queen: Those Wacky Nazis
A Dark Realms Universe Story by Dr. Bender
House parties are my favourite. A bunch of wild college kids packed into someone else’s house, loud dance music with a heavy beat, softcore drugs passed around with the spiked punch, the anonymity of a crowd, all things I loved.
Working my hips on the dance floor, I’m always the queen of the party. At 5’9” I’m tall enough for most without dominating the boys… unless they wanted me to. My well worn hipster skinny jeans hugged the curve of my butt as I worked it and managed to show off my legs without exposing them to view. Up top I wore a form hugging dark grey short tank top that squeezed out my b-cup breasts with the aid of a bra under an open, bright red, sheer blouse that was tied up just below the sternum to keep my waistline exposed, showing off my perfect pale skin and slender body. I wore my ash blonde locks long enough to tickle the top of my thighs and I was careful to use just enough makeup around my eyes to make them sizzle. Strappy dark brown high heeled sandals hugged my feet, ready to be discarded at whim should the mood take me.
As the party queen of campus, I played no favourites. I grinded against the boys and lovingly petted the girls. Everyone was friends with Suzanne and the party hadn’t really started until I made my entrance on the scene. There was just one guarantee if I decided to party: shit was about to get crazy. That’s why they loved me.
The house was rocking when I decided to make my tour, remembering the layout of the house from the last party I’d been to there many years ago. Since the last time, though, the bathrooms had been refurbished, the walls painted and someone had added a heated pool out the back where the kids were lounging in their speedos and bikinis. I said hi to people I recognized and introduced myself to those I didn’t know. A stroke of the cheek here, a brush of lips there and they were eating out of my hands.
She was so cute when I saw her that I almost died again. The uptight freshman girl radiated nervousness like a star on the verge of supernova, standing alone in the crowd. Her chestnut hair was worn in a flip over her right shoulder, accentuating the line of her neck provocatively. She only wore light make-up, preferring a look only a little better than au naturale with perfect lightly tanned skin. Her dress was white and blue floral print with a hemline that ended only a few inches above the knees and she wore a cropped red leather bolero over her shoulders. What made the outfit for me was the lime green sneakers, they were so quirkily perfect for her that I just had to introduce myself.
“Hi,” I said, approaching her directly to get her full attention, “you’re new, right? I’m Suzanne.”
She shook my offered hand trepidatiously. “Lydia Beaumont.”
I caught her gaze and her eyes turned slightly glassy as I invaded her mind. She took a short intake of breath as I stimulated her pleasure centres, giving her a new directive for the night. Leaning in, I nibbled her ear, restraining myself with some effort as my lips brushed the pulsing vein in her neck. “Pop that cherry of yours before you leave, Lydia. I promise you’ll never regret it.”
Leaving her to cope with her newfound lust as she willed, I continued my tour of the house. There were always so many people to play with and never enough hours in a night.
As I stepped out of the bulky black Chevrolet, leaning on my walking cane for support, I savoured the relative quiet of my arrival at Ravencrest University as I gazed up the steps to the old manor that now served at the main administration building. The gothic structure had an air of menace about it, particularly with the ravens the area was named for perched on the eves.
My moment of peaceful reflecting was destroyed when a photographic flash went off in my face, blinding me for a moment. Next thing I knew, my hand was seized by a scholastic looking gentleman with a receding hairline. “Pleasure to meet you, Corporal Valentine,” he greeted warmly as another flash went off.
I tried to give him a friendly smile in return but his handshake made my skin crawl. “Pleasure’s all mine, Mr…”
“Dean Bankroft,” he introduced himself before laughing suddenly. “Oh! Wait, that could be confusing. I would be Mr. Bankroft, Dean of the college, so my title is ‘Dean’, not my first name.”
I never did learn his first name. He introduced me to several other worthies of the University who were also waiting on the steps. When that was over what seemed like hours later, the press bombarded me with questions about my experiences in France. I did my best to answer in plaitudes. One of them did manage to surprise me, however, when he asked the Dean a pointed question.
“Dean Bankroft, can you tell us anything about the body that was discovered on the grounds this morning?”
It took the Dean a moment to collect his wits enough to answer. “The police are still investigating, I’m afraid I can’t comment on the unfortunate incident at this time. Why don’t we move into the reception hall? It’s getting a little windy out here, thank you gentlemen!”
Inside we mingled, though the Dean stuck to me like glue. Hors d’oeuvres were provided along with wine, though I begged off any spirits and asked for a cup of tea which was provided promptly. “I got a taste for it working with the British,” I explained myself to the Dean out of politeness for the imposition.
“I hate to ask but what do you think our prospects are for the war?” Bankroft inquired.
“Failing any big surprises, I’d give us another two years to Berlin,” I answered, “though I have to stress that it’s purely my own conjecture.”
I missed his next question because I was distracted by a vision of beauty that descended the stairs from the upper landing. In the pocket of my uniform, I carried a picture of Venus Ramey, Miss America 1944. Her likeness had been painted on a B-17 Flying Fortress and was said to protect the soldiers inside, therefore I carried her picture on the theory that it would do the same for me. The woman descending the staircase was a redhead like Venus Ramey but she made Miss America look plain by comparison. She was dressed all in black, which I assumed correctly to indicate that she was a widower still in mourning, which accentuated the paleness of her perfect skin and the redness of her lipstick. Just the sight of her provoked an erection large enough to make me distinctly uncomfortable, so I concentrated on counting the flowers in the pattern on my teacup as she approached.
“Ah, Headmistress,” Bankroft greeted, “it is my honour to present to you Corporal Lance Valentine of the Third Army. Corporal Valentine, this is our Headmistress Ms. Carmilla DuLac formerly Mrs. Swindon.”
“My pleasure,” she said, offering her hand which I took and raised to my lips, noting the smell of sunscreen underlying her perfume.
“My condolences for your loss, was your husband on active duty?” I asked.
She shook her head. “My husband was in the National Guard, he perished in a tragic car accident.”
“I’m sorry I brought it up,” I apologized compassionately, reluctantly letting go of her hand. “Your maiden name is French isn’t it?”
“Indeed, which neatly dovetails into a question I’ve been dying to ask of you Corporal. I spent several years when I was young studying in Paris, I was wondering how my ancestral country has fared under Nazi rule.”
I sighed sadly. “The war has taken an unfortunate toll on country madam, though the spirit of the people remains unbowed. The Germans seem determined to break that spirit, even now that they are losing ground…”
“Pardon me,” one of the members of the press interrupted, holding up his camera, “would you mind if we got a picture of the three of you, sir?”
Carmilla gave him a scathing glare. “Yes we do mind, shoo!”
“But the publicity…”
I held my hand up in front of his lens. “The lady told you to scram, friend.”
The reporter rolled his eyes and sauntered off shaking his head.
“Thank you, Corporal,” Carmilla said, smiling at me, “those parasites annoy me no end. By tomorrow the gossip columns would have had us in a torrid affair after just one meeting.”
Her comment set back the progress I’d made on taming my erection to the point where I had to start all over again. “As I was saying, the intense fighting has caused heavy damage to most roads and townships. The Germans have been systematically stripping anything of value from the French people and punishing them for the actions of the various resistance groups. French collusion with the Allies has provoked the more fanatical members of the Waffen-SS to acts of genocide. It is, altogether, a tragic state of affairs.”
“If you would indulge me over dinner, Corporal, I’d be interested in a detailed account of your exploits.”
The Dean swallowed the wrong way and broke into a fit of coughing. Carmilla glared at him. “Properly chaperoned, of course,” she added with deadly emphasis.
“I’m… not sure you’d be interested in my account of the war, Headmistress,” I said hesitantly, “there are some memories that are best consigned to the history books.”
She laughed. “I assure you that I am not squeamish in the least, I’m compiling a text on Nazi war crimes in fact; an eyewitness account would be invaluable for the sake historical accuracy. Would 7pm suit you?”
Trapped, I gave in to her request before she took her leave then suffered through the rest of my welcoming ceremony with the image of her walking away periodically sneaking into my head and enlivening my erection. No woman had had such an effect on me since my teenage years, which I had to remind myself hadn’t been so long ago.
Once the tedious ceremony was over and the Dean and I had finished discussing my courses, I found myself limping back to the car alone with the driver waiting for me. Next to the Chevrolet, however, was a Ford with a suited gentleman leaning against it that I recognized. Stopping in my tracks, I shook my head. “Frank? What in blue blazes are you doing here?”
Frank smiled as he approached and shook my hand firmly. “Valentine,” he greeted. “How’s the parades and fanfare?”
“Boring,” I answered briskly. “I repeat, what are you doing here?”
“Took the train up from Washington this morning,” he explained. “Local precinct found something and called for an expert. I’m an expert, apparently.”
“Who’s coffee cup did you shit in?”
“How do you know I didn’t volunteer for a chance to say hello to you again? Don’t answer that. Lance, we’re looking for your help. You want me to whip out ‘Ol Glory and a bugle for you?”
I held up my walking cane for emphasis. “Discharged, remember? Unfit for active duty…”
“Doesn’t mean we don’t need people with your skills.”
Leaning close to him, I looked him in the eye. “My service record is a matter of national security…”
“God, Lance, I’m not threatening you! The FBI needs your help with a murder investigation. End of story. You’ll be paid and it doesn’t involve any movie star theatrics.”
I wanted to hit him but I held myself in check. “All I want is a little peace. Is that too much to ask?”
“No Lance,” he said, putting a cigarette in his mouth, “after everything you’ve seen, that’s not too much to ask.”
“It has to do with the murder on campus?” I asked, giving him a level glare.
“It just might,” he said noncommittally.
“I have a dinner date tonight,” I explained, “classes start in three weeks.”
“We can start in the morning,” he said, “and we’ll only need you for a week at most. I’ll pick you up tomorrow morning.”
“You know where I live already?”
He gave me a flat look that told me everything I needed to know before we parted ways.
My father’s home was a dilapidated mess, thanks mostly to that fact that it had been years since he’d passed away while I was abroad. I’d visited his grave already the first day I’d arrived and spent the last few days cleaning what I could to make the place habitable. The luckiest part of my inheritance had been the proximity to the University only a few blocks away. It was a large house, though, and I’d barely scratched the surface of the repairs it needed.
Not feeling up to more work, however, I spent the afternoon in quiet contemplation and relaxation. At 5 o’clock, I cleaned myself up and dressed in more suitable formal dinner attire before calling a cab to take me back to the Headmistress’ office where we’d arranged to meet. On my arrival, I was amazed to be greeted by a gorgeous blonde beauty in a stunning blue silk dress.
“Josephine,” she introduced herself, letting me kiss her fingers in greeting. “I’m the Headmistress’ Personal Aide. Please follow me, Corporal; she’s awaiting us in the formal dining room.”
Blinking, I followed dumbly along behind her. “I wasn’t expecting a dinner at High Table.”
She laughed. “Nothing so formal tonight but don’t worry, it’ll just be the three of us.”
Carmilla was stunning. Though she remained dressed in black she’d changed into an evening gown that showed off a significant amount of her leg as she walked, the hem swishing around her ankles begging for attention. I kissed her hand again and let her lead me to my seat while some equally fascinating serving girls fussed over our settings. She wasn’t wearing sunscreen anymore and I had to wonder if she had some sort of skin condition that required its use in daylight hours.
“Not that I’m complaining but did someone put something in the water supply that makes Ravencrest girls so beautiful?” I asked in jest.
“Perhaps you haven’t been in feminine company for too long,” Carmilla reposted.
“Touché, madam,” I laughed, earning me a smile from both women.
One of the serving girls placed a cup of tea in front of me while others poured the two women what looked to be a rich red wine. “Now,” Carmilla said while we were served, “you promised to give me your account of your military service.”
I frowned, not expecting her to rush right to the point. “Where I can, madam, of course you must remember that much of my service is still a matter of national security and…”
She looked me in the eyes as she interrupted me. “You will tell me everything of relevance, omitting nothing of import. You trust me implicitly.”
Feeling fuzzy for a moment, I punched the bridge of my nose before replying. “Of course I trust you, I’m sorry I don’t know what came over me. My military service started out just like most, I enlisted and was sent to the front lines in France. Things took a strange turn a year later when I was shanghaied into giving a performance for our division as a female impersonator. I did such a good job that I was recruited as a spy for the Military Intelligence Service and sent behind enemy lines.”
“As a performer?” Josephine asked incredulously.
“Actually I was smuggled into a French brothel that was servicing a forward command post of the German Army. MIS didn’t trust the Madam to provide accurate intelligence but weren’t willing to give a woman the job. As it turns out, officers can be partial to a certain type of high class prostitution service…”
Both women were staring at me. “So,” Josephine started, licking her lips as she leant forward in her chair, “you’re telling us that you were a cross-dressing dominatrix spy?”
I blushed hard. “They got me with the usual pitch: serve your country, save lives, be a hero. Honestly, while I was doing the show I just started getting into it and the boys loved me. It took me some time for the Madam to take me that step further and teach me the ins and outs of the trade but I lived as Mistress Suzanne for three years… sometimes I wish I was still there.”
“Why aren’t you?” Carmilla asked, fascinated.
“MIS got wind of a counterintelligence operation and pulled me out with the aid of the Resistance,” I answered. “I was smuggled halfway across France with some POWs before the Waffen-SS caught up with us… well, really, we were just in the wrong village at the wrong time. They massacred the village by luring everyone into the church and gunning them down with machine guns, aiming to wound and incapacitate. This included women and children. Then they set the church on fire while the villagers were still alive. I was forced to slit the throat of one of our own guides who thoughtlessly tried to take vengeance by himself against an entire division with tanks. On our way home, we were ambushed by the regular German army and a shot grazed my lower back. I’ve been in convalescence for the better part of the year and was finally given a bunch of medals, honourably discharged and sent home.”
They continued to stare at me. “If he wasn’t under my spell, I’d accuse him of lying,” Carmilla commented. Josephine just nodded, aghast. I didn’t know what they were talking about but I was very sure that it was nothing sinister and that the two of them only had my welfare as their first concern.
“So, when you say you were a dominatrix at a French brothel,” Carmilla probed, “were you specifically a cross dressing dominatrix or did you pretend to actually be female?”
“Oh, they never found me out,” I said with a note of pride, “my disguise was very through. It was clear that I didn’t do anything more than oral sex right from the start, since that would spoil my mystique. Most of the time they wanted to be trampled or have someone play doctor or get tied up and whipped. I swear some of them wouldn’t have minded me being a man.”
“You’ve actually performed oral sex on a man?” Josephine inquired.
“A few times,” I shrugged, “I left that part out of official reports, of course. Hard to argue against it when you’re surrounded by a score of female prostitutes that do it fifteen times a day in the off season. I became a whole different person; it took me months to readjust. I made my peace and left her behind me.”
Josephine was silent for a moment before she burst out laughing. Carmilla glared at her but had a slight quirk of a smile on the edge of her lips. “Josephine,” she chided.
“I’m sorry,” she gasped into her napkin. “I just don’t think I’m going to be able to look at a recruitment poster with a straight face ever again! Have you got what it takes? He knew the meaning of sacrifice? Let’s catch him… with his… panzers… down!”
“Loose lips sink ships,” Carmilla added, shaking her head.
“I prefer ‘victory waits on your fingers’ and ‘he’s watching you’,” I chuckled.
Josephine’s sides split.
Once everyone had calmed down, I was given food. Carmilla assured me that they weren’t eating but it was perfectly fine for me to partake without them, so I dug in.
“I should turn him now,” Carmilla commented to Josephine absently while I ate. “He’s very, very special. Maybe a little crazy but he has potential.”
Josephine was suddenly all business. “You’d risk war with Wisteria.”
“Which is the only reason we’re still talking about it, Wisteria will want him too.”
“I agree he’s unstable, which makes him unpredictable and dangerous, are you sure you want the problem?”
“Wisteria could break him but if she doesn’t, we’ll have lost a powerful ally.”
“If she’ll want him as much as you say, it will be war. Everyone loses.”
“What do you suggest then?”
“Patience,” Josephine advised, “claim precedence on him as a recruit before Wisteria takes a look for herself then try to sneak him through under the radar. If that fails… then we play the game.”
Carmilla sighed. “I hate being prudent but you’re right. Lance, look at me.”
I looked up from my food and stared right into Carmilla’s silver eyes.
“You had a wonderful night. Dinner was scrumptious, we all ate what you just ate and enjoyed it immensely. Conversation was generally light and you described some of you experiences without going into anything secret. You don’t remember what we said but you do remember us eagerly asking about France and the war but you won’t mention our conversation to others anyway and only volunteer information if asked, since respecting our privacy is only polite. You made up a few exploits to fill the gap in your service record and begged off of painful memories when we pressed too hard on delicate subjects. You feel that Josephine and I might become fast friends in the future and you had some lustful thoughts about the both of us but you comported yourself as a gentleman at all times. Now my driver will take you home and you will have a deep, restful, sleep in which you have erotic dreams about the two of us.”
Nodding, I got up, wiped my mouth and headed for the door.
“Was that last part really necessary?” Josephine whispered behind my back.
“What? He might as well get a head start.”
Lydia was rubbing her body against a guy on the dance floor like a cat in heat. Her skirt was riding up so high that she flashed her cute little pink panties at everyone but she was too caught up in herself to care. The guy she’d latched onto had a hard on like a freight train and I assessed to my pleasure that her virtue was an endangered species.
A sudden shove in my back as one of the idiot frat boys pushed another into me raised my ire. “Dude, don’t be gay!” He protested, annoying me even more. Gracefully stepping between the two of them, I caught their attention by stroking my fingertips across their chests, catching their gazes each in turn. “Why not?” I asked before sashaying away, gliding into the kitchen.
There I found a poor lonely boy trying to look cool bobbing his head to the music with a plastic cup of punch in his hand. His thick glasses and baby blue polo shirt he was wearing weren’t the only thing that was spoiling him, he looked like a poser so the girls were running the other way. Striding up, I removed the cup from his hand and tossed it casually into the sink without a backwards glance, grabbing his hand as I gave him my third best sultry look. “Wanna make out with me?” I asked.
Awestruck, he nodded dumbly. I dragged him out of the kitchen, ordered some of the other party-goers to bunch over and practically hurled him into the chair. Draping myself over his legs, I removed the offending glasses and wrapped my arms around his neck before slipping my tongue into his mouth. He faltered at first but was a quick study and before I knew it, he had his hands all over me.
Just the way I like it.
The next morning, I woke in a damp bed. I had to bathe, strip my bed and even scrub the mattress. My sleep had been satisfying in more ways than one, however, and I couldn’t get the magnificent Josephine and wonderful Carmilla out of my head. They’d been wonderful companionship the night before; I could hardly believe my luck in finding such boon companions so easily, particularly members of the opposite sex so charming and delightful. I was in a great mood polishing off my breakfast that even the knock on my front door and the prospect of seeing Frank again didn’t dampen my spirits.
That didn’t happen until I opened the door and he held up a large wooden box in greeting. “I think this is everything you need,” he said gracelessly.
I frowned as I took the plain box from him, wincing as my back twinged from the weight. “I didn’t know this was going to be an in costume affair.”
He came in, closed the door and still spoke in a whisper. “Sorry I wasn’t up front. I promised the guys at the station that I had a connection to a real female spy. They want to meet and brief you today. If they know… what you really are, well, you’ve gotta understand my position here. The J. Edgar Hoover jokes alone…”
“Intrepid G-men with G-spots,” I quipped.
“Don’t you start!”
I sighed. “All right, I guess I have to change, then. Just a word of warning, Frank, when I come out that door… do yourself a favour and don’t piss me off.”
He held up one hand and crossed his heart with a straight face. I went into my bathroom shaking my head as I closed the door behind me.
The box had all the same stuff as my disguise kit and I had to wonder how Frank had gotten hold of most of it without making a scene. Stockings, ladies undergarments, dresses, lipstick and a variety of make-up packs filled the box to the brim. Last but not least was the wig of long blonde hair the same colour as my own so it would blend with my skin.
I put all that aside and started with the shaving kit, paying particularly close attention to the day old stubble on my chin. Fortunately, I couldn’t grow a proper beard so the smoothness of my face was assured. Shaving my legs was harder, particularly on my back; I had to sit down to do a through job. Thankfully the hairs were relatively soft from the shower. I would have preferred waxing despite the pain but we didn’t have the time or the supplies.
Underwear went on first after I’d tucked my little soldier away and applied the rubber ‘shaping inserts’ to my hips with some glue. The false breasts went on in a similar way, small enough that the bra wasn’t necessary to keep them in place but I put it on anyway. Strangely, I found that the girdle seemed to help with the back pain a little as I strapped myself into it as tight as humanly possible, a feat I’d had plenty of practice at. False nails and nail polish went on after that, which took a while to dry so I spent it productively trying to get my voice back up several octaves and generally falling back into the role.
I shivered in anticipation as I slid the nylon stockings up over my legs, though I was used to lace and silk at the brothel. Susanne started to resurface as I pulled my hair back and secured it with a net before reaching for the boxes of cosmetics to fix my face. Slipping into the white day dress was like being reborn, the wig completing my transition as I affixed it over my scalp.
It was Suzanne that adjusted my dress, selected her jewellery for the day and slipped her feet into a gorgeous pair of silver high heels to compliment the outfit. One last check in the mirror and a quick touch up of my lipstick and I stepped out of the bathroom feeling like a new woman.
Frank stood up when I entered, jaw agape. I put my hands on my hips and posed a little, waiting on his first comment. Chuckling, he gave me a wolf whistle as he looked me over. “Christ, Lance, they weren’t kidding when they said you brushed up well.”
Smiling, I sashayed over to him, grabbed his ball sack through the crotch of his pants and twisted.
“JESUS!” He grimaced, caught between wanting to shove me away and not wanting to have his balls ripped off.
“Now that I have your attention,” I said in a calm, sultry, tone. “My name is Suzanne. Lance is a nice guy, I really wish I could meet him sometime, but I’m the cold-hearted bitch that can force you lick the jam from between my toes and make you like it. So shut the fuck up and go get the door for me like a gentleman.”
It took him a moment to gather himself but he did get the door for me. I thanked him and gave him my most winning smile on the way out, which disturbed him even more. I still had to make him open the car door for me but I resolved to let that one go. He gave me baleful glares as we drove along, only half paying attention to what he was doing.
“Keep your eyes on the road,” I chided as I fixed my hair.
He pursed his lips and looked straight ahead. “So… Suzanne… mind if I ask what happens to Lance while you’re in charge?”
“Nothing,” I shrugged. “I’m not mentally disturbed if that’s what you think; it’s just a matter of masks, Frank. When you get right down to it, everyone is just a mask. You, me, Lance… very few people get to be who they really are all the time. Being who I am is a very deep commitment but I don’t expect you to understand that. After all, you didn’t understand it enough to keep Jessie.”
“I’ve got half a mind to slug you,” he snapped.
“Actually, I blame Lance. If he’d let you talk to me, I might have been able to persuade you to pay more attention to your wife and less to your work.”
“Somehow, I doubt me being seen with a pretty blonde would have done a lot to save my marriage, thanks.”
“Thank you for the wonderful compliment,” I said, grinning.
He sighed and shook his head. “I… you… I mean… ok, we’re dropping this line of conversation. End of story.”
I opened my mouth to say something smart but he held his hand up. “End. Of. Story.”
Still grinning, I flipped my hair and settled into the seat feeling good about myself. After a while he glanced at me out of the corner of his eye. Then he got curious and took a deep breath. “If you don’t mind me asking… what happened to your limp?”
“What are you talking about? Lance is the one with a limp, not me.”
Allowing him to boggle at that one was immensely satisfying.
He remembered to open the door for me when we got to the police station without being prompted and I appearance garnered the desired reaction from the predominantly masculine members of the force as we passed by. The secretary at the front desk gave me a scathing look. Satisfied that I still had it, I walked confidently into the room Frank led me to and quickly assessed those inside.
Three men, one with a badge on his shirt pocket that red ‘Det. Jack O’Connor’, sat around a small table looking over paperwork. The other gentleman that had the air of a detective was looking away from me so I couldn’t read his tag. The last appeared to be a scholar of some sort with a receding hairline and thick spectacles.
“Gentlemen, this is Suzanne,” Frank introduced me as he closed the door behind him. “Be polite or she’ll eat you alive.”
“You say the sweetest things, Frankie,” I teased.
The other detective turned around, revealing that his name was Benjamin Carver. He was the younger of the two detectives and the unmarried one unless he removed his ring while on the job. “Woooo,” he commented, pulling the chair next to him out from under the table, “why don’t you sit down right here next to me, sweety.”
“Certainly,” I agreed with perky enthusiasm, sliding gracefully into the offered chair and crossing my legs. Carver looked and appreciated, which was gratifying. O’Connor shook his head in disapproval. The scholastic gentleman looked perplexed and Frank looked like his eyes were about to bounce across the table. “So, what is it that you fine gentlemen need little me for?”
O’Connor took a deep breath. “I’m…”
“Detective Jack O’Connor,” I finished for him, “usually I’d say you’re on a homicide squad but Ravencrest PD isn’t a big enough department, so you do a little bit of everything along with the little boy playing policeman, Carver here. Usually murders around these parts are fairly open and shut but there’s something about the body you found yesterday morning that made you call the FBI. Frankie volunteers because he’s desperate for a chance to see me again now that his divorce came through which leaves this gentleman cross the table here which I guess from his age and dress would be a professor from the University.”
“Ouch,” Carver winced, shifting away from me a little, “go right for my balls why don’t you?”
“They’re easy to miss,” I quipped, sliding my dress up a little where only he could see to show off the hilt of the knife strapped to my thigh.
O’Connor laughed. “Ok, you’re the real deal lady. This is Dr. Walsh, Professor of Astrology…”
Walsh coughed. “Astronomy, Detective. They’re two different things. He discovered the body on the night before last… I’d show you pictures but…”
I held out my hand. “Detective, I’ve seen dead bodies in the flesh before. Photographs will not hurt my sensibilities.”
He shrugged and handed me the photographs. It was a grizzly scene, a young man with his throat torn out and some sort of rune carved into his forehead. I didn’t recognize his face, which was no surprise, and he was naked. It was obvious he’d been positioned with his hands at his sides and his legs straight. I didn’t recognize the rune in the close-up but the shot of the wound was more revealing. His neck had been mostly severed by a large, ragged, wound where his windpipe should have been, deep enough that I could see the vertebrae.
“The doc says he found gouge marks on the bone,” O’Connor commented. “He wasn’t too precise about what could have caused it but the official story is an animal attack; maybe a large dog, wolf or cougar.”
I raised an eyebrow. “A cougar this far east? You’re stretching. The body’s been posed and animals don’t carve figures into people’s foreheads.”
“Wow,” O’Connor said sarcastically, “you’re sharp, why didn’t we think of that?”
“I like to underestimate men, that way when they do something right it’s a pleasant surprise.”
He surprised me by laughing. “Yep, I’ll have to introduce you to my wife, you two would get along swimmingly. All right, enough small talk. The big reason you’re here is that we found something else on the body.”
Taking a small evidence bag from him, I peered through the clear plastic. It was a piece of small, gold, jewellery. It was a square with a symbol that resembled crossed swords in the background. In the foreground were the Greek letters for Delta Beta Zeta. There was a little blood on the back but not the front. “It’s a fraternity pin,” I observed.
“Close enough,” O’Connor admitted with a shrug. “Actually it’s a sorority pin. That’s where you come in. We need you to infiltrate the chapter house and look for anything untoward.”
My eyebrow flew up. “You think college girls are ripping out boys throats and carving them up?”
“I think at least one college girl with a big guard dog is playing some sort of sick game to try and divert our attention away from the usual suspects. The victim was sexually active by all accounts; a jilted lover would be my bet on this.”
“But there could be more to it,” Walsh insisted. “Delta Beta Zeta is a very unusual sorority. I even dare to say that their behaviour is often that of a cult rather than a sisterhood. During the daylight, they move from class to class with speed, barely communicating with anyone outside. But at night they are… I’m sorry but there’s no way to put this politely. They are loose women. One or two have even made advances towards me when their grades were low.”
“Did you accept?” I asked flippantly.
“My dear woman!”
I waved away his protest. “Yes, yes, you’d never do such a thing, you’re a beacon of integrity, blah, blah, blah. I’ll take your word that you’re angry at them for making advances to you and not because they make advances to other teachers and not you.”
The professor bristled. “Such things should not be done!”
I sighed. “Professor, most men use their muscles rather than their brains. Girls don’t have muscles so they use their looks if they don’t have the brains; it’s the law of the jungle. Frankly, I don’t know why I’m even talking with you now, as far as I can tell you’re utterly superfluous to this investigation.”
“Dr. Walsh is our inside man in Ravencrest,” O’Connor sighed. “Half the cops in this building know at least one of the Delta Beta Zetas, they always seem to be around when trouble starts but none of the shit ever sticks to them, if you’ll pardon the expression. When the good doctor here started to explain their behaviour, taking up with one man after another, we honestly weren’t surprised. Now, one or two sluts in a sorority is to be expected but a whole sorority that seems hell bent on ruining their lives? That raises flags. We’ve tried to find links between them and narcotics or spirits but came up blank. We just didn’t think we’d be running into some sort of murderous sex cult.”
I crossed my arms over my chest. “So what you’re saying is that you can’t get a warrant to search the sorority house for witchcraft?”
“I’d settle for a big dog that they keep in the basement,” O’Connor said. “Honestly, I have no idea what you could find in there. The moment you see something weird, I want you out of there and on your way here, so I can go to a judge with a concrete link. Somehow their sorority has pull with the justice department, the chief gets wind of this and we’re all fired.”
I looked pointedly at Frank.
“I wouldn’t have called you in if I didn’t think there was something to it,” the FBI agent said. “Something is going on at this sorority house but nobody high up wants to know. The body was found in the woods just outside campus near Delta Beta Zeta. The pin would usually be enough to start inquiries at the very least but we don’t want to give them advance warning so they can go to ground. Get in, get out. Carver will take you there, pick you up and meet up with us at another location so we can debrief you. MIS rules.”
“Why not?” I asked, standing up. “Sorority girls can’t be any worse than Nazis.”
“Remember to open doors for the lady, Carver,” Frank warned.
He made a face at Frank as he got the door and called him a sissy as we left them behind. Once we were in the car, Carver was a lot more energetic, singing along with the radio seemingly oblivious to the amused look I was giving him.
“Say, Suzy,” he said, “you and Frank go back, huh?”
“We worked together for a little while in the MIS,” I informed him, “after I got back from deep cover, we met again in hospital. We were both discharged, he got a job at the FBI, I went on my merry way.”
“There’s gotta be more to it than that.”
“There is,” I laughed, “but it’s all classified.”
“A little hot in here, girls?” I asked a group of girls as I approached from behind, slipping my arms around two waists.
The tall brunette undid her top button and fanned herself a little. “You can say that again.”
The objects of their attention were the two frat boys from before, practically fucking each other’s mouths with their tongues. They were shirtless in a quiet part of the garden where they thought nobody else could see them, sweat dripping down their backs as they caressed each other.
Catching one of the girl’s attention with a tap on the shoulder, I looked her in the eye. “There’s a nice, meaty, strap on in the cupboard under the bathroom sink upstairs,” I informed her, having placed it there earlier for just such an occasion, “why don’t you put it on and join them? I’m sure they’d love company.”
She nodded mutely and left to comply. Then I picked out the girl that was most turned on and skilfully guided her hand down her own panties before leaving the others to work it out for themselves. Lydia and her mate were no longer on the dance floor. I thought about checking in to see how she was doing but decided that there was more fun to be had elsewhere.
Out by the pool, I watched as one of the girls left her boyfriend by the bar to fix her face. Sidling into her spot, I caught her boyfriend’s eye. “Buy me a drink, honey?”
His common sense neatly overridden, he grinned enthusiastically. “Sure, what you having?”
I picked something brightly coloured at random and turned away as he tried to get the bartender’s attention. Spotting another guy in the crowd, I made eye contact and gave him a ‘come hither’ look, implanting the idea to offer me a drink.
“Hey,” he greeted just as the other guy turned back to us with my drink, pleasantly invading my personal space, “can I get you something?”
“Hey, bro,” the first guy protested, “I just got her something, thanks.”
Both of them turned to me for my reaction, allowing me to make eye contact with the two of them. “I didn’t do it,” I said cheekily.
“You heard the lady,” the second guy scowled at the first; pushing him, “shove off asshole.”
The first guy threw the drink in his face then fists started to fly. The crowd was chanting ‘fight’ as they watched the two go at each other in their unskilled post-adolescent fury when the first guy’s girlfriend returned.
“Harvy?!?” She shouted from the edge of the room but her cry was drowned out by the cheers. Slipping my arm over her shoulders, we made brief eye contact but it was more than enough.
“I don’t know about you,” I whispered into her ear, “but violence really does it for me.”
The next solid punch made the girl jump but not out of fright. As the fight wore on, she started to cling to me, weak-kneed and trembling. By the time the fight was winding down, she was almost done herself, meekly allowing me to drag her inside without protest.
Entering the University again was a little strange. It was still light out but the place felt darker than it had the day before and everything seemed to take on a sinister aspect. Putting it down to nerves, I tried to focus on the task ahead.
“The girls will mostly be in class now,” I muttered.
“Should be, yeah,” he said. “Look, if things go sour, just scream. I’ll be right around the corner and backup won’t be far behind.”
Getting out of the car, I tried to pinpoint where the bad feeling in my gut was coming from. Approaching the sorority house, I couldn’t see anything amiss, it was a large two story building like every other on campus with the exception of the three Greek letters over the front door. There wasn’t anything sinister about except that it was on the edge of campus in the middle of nowhere, isolated from the rest of the campus…
Deciding I was being stupid, I stepped up to the front door and knocked, composing my pitch in my head. After a few minutes I knocked again. The third time, the door was opened by a pretty young girl that seemed familiar, though I couldn’t quite place her. Her hair was chestnut brown and she topped out at 5’6”, just slightly shorter than me.
“Hi,” I greeted cheerfully, “I’m Misty Taylor, it is a pleasure to meet you. I’m starting as an undergraduate in a few weeks and I just wanted to talk to the different sororities and see what was available, do you mind if I talk to your Pledge Mistress.”
The girl just stared at me, her mouth slightly open. Finally she blinked and snapped her mouth shut. “Usually we pledge by invitation only,” she informed me in a sweet voice like honey coated velvet, “but I think our Pledge Mistress might make an exception in your case. Come on in.”
She stepped aside and let me through, which I thanked her for in my chipper ‘brainless bimbo’ voice. Once I was inside, however, the sinister feeling hit me in the face. It was dark inside the sorority house, really dark. There didn’t seem to be enough windows and what windows there were had the blinds drawn across them and most of the light that did exist came from scattered candles rather than electric lights. There were also bars across every window, like a prison. I jumped when she shut the door behind me, making the dark house even darker.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t catch your name,” I said, turning back to her.
“Mary,” she said, still staring at me. “You said your name is Misty?”
“That’s me,” I answered, my chipper persona quailing a little. “I don’t know what came over my parents, seriously! Say, are you the only one here? It seems a little quiet.”
“We’re not a big sorority,” she explained, walking around me to check me out from all sides, her bare feet hardly making a sound on the floor. “We also like to keep a stable number of members. Lucky for you, we’re looking to fill some recent vacancies soon.”
I jumped, spinning around to find another girl standing in the doorway to some back rooms. She was only wearing a night shift, her hair was auburn and she was also undeniably beautiful. “Oh, sorry,” I apologized, “you startled me.”
She looked me up and down, staring like Mary had. Then she sniffed, wrinkling her nose. “Who the fuck are you?”
“Manners, Lisa,” Mary scolded, stepping close behind me, her presence making me even more uncomfortable. “This is Misty, she came to talk to our Pledge Mistress.”
After a moment of astonishment, she cracked into a smile. “Seriously?”
“I understand that you usually don’t take applicants but Mary said I might be a special case,” I said evenly, even though I felt like my knees were shaking. I didn’t know what was so frightening, they were just two girls but it was what I couldn’t see that was scaring the bejeebus out of me. They were acting like they were in on a big joke that I wasn’t party to. “If you’re busy, maybe I should come back later…”
“No,” Mary stopped me, putting herself between me and the door. “Don’t be nervous, the Pledge Mistress will be so excited to meet you. I’m sure she’ll want to have a long chat.”
“I’ll go get Wisteria,” Lisa said, heading for the stairs to the upper floor.
“Be smart and get Carmilla,” Mary called after her. Lisa just snorted derisively in response.
“Headmistress Carmilla is here?” I asked incredulously.
“Oh yes,” Mary replied playfully. “Why, have you met her already?”
Then I recognized her. She was one of the girls serving food at Carmilla’s dinner table. The facts clicked together in my head as it hit me that I’d been made the moment the door opened. It was, however, the first time anyone had penetrated my disguise, so I was set aback for a moment. Reacting on pure instinct, I drew my knife and stabbed with a single, flawless, motion, piercing her chest between the third and fourth rib.
Mary stared at my dagger for a moment before putting her hands on her hips. “What the fuck are you doing, bitch? This blouse is cashmere!”
I stared. Usually when I stab people, they fall down. Generally there’s some gurgling and blood bubbles, sometimes frothing at the mouth. Occasionally they’ll scream a little. None of them just stand there complaining about ruined blouses.
“Who are you?” A sultry voice asked from the upstairs landing. When I looked up, I saw a lady descending the steps, tall with long black hair like midnight, wearing a gauzy nightgown. She was pointing right at me with fingers tipped by long nails and glaring at me with dark, penetrating eyes. My first instinct was to run but I didn’t even get an inch before Mary had my arms locked behind my back. A moment later, Lisa suddenly appeared at my side, locking my right arm. More girls stepped out onto the balcony above, looking down on the scene curiously while others flanked us from the wings on the ground floor. Even though I struggled, their grip was like nothing I’d ever felt before. They were strong, inhumanly strong.
“Answer me!” The dark-haired woman ordered. I felt her words like a palpable blow to the face.
“Misty,” I answered, looking away, without having to force tears, “my name is Misty Taylor. I just wanted to talk to the Pledge Mistress!”
“LIAR!” She snapped. “Why do you come into this house dressed as a woman?”
I blinked. “H-how did you? It’s not possible!”
She hissed at me and I saw her incisors elongate into fangs. The last piece of the puzzle clicked into place. I stopped struggling, the will to fight leaving my limbs numb as the whole world shifted around me.
“Pardon my rudeness,” the dark-haired woman said, suddenly changing her tone as she stepped close. “I am Wisteria. Tell me your real name and what you are doing here.”
Suddenly I wished I’d paid more attention to monster movies as a kid. I wracked my brains for any way out of the situation and came up empty. Strong as the girls holding me were I had no chance of escape, how much more powerful was the creature standing before me?
“I can force the truth from your mind,” Wisteria whispered, stroking my cheek, “it would be a shame to ruin you over something so trivial, however. Your name…”
Overwhelmed by the power in her words, I broke. “Suzanne,” I barked, “my name is Suzanne. My… other name is Lance. Corporal Lance Valentine, former infantryman of the Third Army, former spy for the Military Intelligence Service, honourably discharged.”
I perked up a bit at the sound of a familiar voice. Carmilla stormed down the stairs apace, Josephine and half a dozen other girls behind her. “I’ve already laid a claim on him, he is mine.”
Wisteria pulled my hair out of my face and brushed it over my shoulder, carefully arranging me like a little girl arranging a doll. “You seem to have neglected to mention his innate power. Or perhaps you deliberately omitted that detail? Negotiations are back on the table in either case.”
“Don’t blame me for your lazy scouting methods!” Carmilla growled. “I laid claim first, you agreed, he’s mine. There is no negotiation.”
“Are you willing to start a war over this?”
“Well I certainly am,” Wisteria said coldly, still staring at me.
“Impasse,” Carmilla said, folding her arms.
Wisteria snorted. “Not from where I stand.”
“I could snap his neck before you turn him,” Carmilla suggested. “Impasse.”
There was a long silence from Wisteria. Every girl in the room held her breath as tensions rose in the air. “Agreed, Impasse.”
Everyone gave a collective sigh of relief except for the Headmistress and Wisteria who remained perfectly calm and collected throughout.
“One way or another, I will have her,” Wisteria delivered her ultimatum before stepping away from me and turning back to Carmilla, “give her to me or there will be war between us my child.”
“Neither of us wants that, mother,” Carmilla responded, stepping closer to her. “We need another way to settle this. I won’t give her up just because you threaten a childish temper tantrum.”
“Perhaps I should be the one to snap her neck then?” Wisteria asked slyly.
Carmilla stamped her foot in frustration. “All right, I guess we’re both bluffing on that score but we also know you’re bluffing about starting a war over an initiate. We need a tie breaker. Would you agree to abide by such a way of settling the dispute?”
Wisteria sniffed. “It would have to be completely fair and impartial. No trickery or bias. I would abide by such a result if you would agree to it as well but I doubt such a measure exists in this house.”
“Just flip a coin,” I muttered under my breath. Next thing I knew, everyone in the room was staring at me. “NO! Wait, I was being sarcastic!”
“Josephine,” Carmilla held out her hand. The blonde placed a quarter in her mistress’ hand. “Would you agree to the use of this coin, Wisteria?”
Wisteria plucked the coin from Carmilla’s grip and examined it closely. “It will suffice,” she declared, “but who should flip the coin? They must have no bias in the result.”
“The human flips the coin,” Josephine suggested.
Wisteria smiled. “You do your mother credit, Josephine. Such a delicious sense of irony! Why, I believe even if I lose with this method, I will be satisfied that it is the will of fate. Carmilla?”
“I swear,” Carmilla declared.
“As do I,” Wisteria intoned, holding the coin out to me.
Mary and Lisa let me go and I stumbled several steps toward her. My hand shook as I reached out for the coin…
I stretched out on the bed, the naked girl sprawled next to me rendered unconscious by my attentions. Her skin glistened with sweat, hair matted to her back. I’d sampled every pleasure I could partake from her body and taken her to the peak of bliss in return. She was good stock with a nice, firm, ass. I resolved to find a way to repay her before I glanced over to the other bed.
Lydia was still bouncing up and down on her mate’s cock, back arched as she went at it like a rabbit. Even I was amazed at her stamina and I could literally fuck someone to death, not that it appealed to me.
There was a polite knock on the door before one of the guys poked his head into the room, pointedly ignoring the rutting freshman and our general state of undress. “Sorry, Suzanne,” he apologized, “but I think there’s a cop in the driveway.”
“I’ll take care of it,” I reassured him, hopping lithely out of bed and slipping into my jeans. I still had my top on so I stepped out once I was decent, leaving my sandals discarded by the bed.
The officer looked down on me with distain; I was fairly dishevelled after all. He was a bike cop, resplendent in that hot leather uniform with his mirror shades tucked into his top pocket. “Ma’am, are you the owner of this house?”
“It’s my party, yeah,” I answered. I actually had no idea who owned the house.
“We’ve had complaints about the noise,” he said with authority, “if you don’t turn the music down I’m gonna have to site you.”
Looking into his eyes, I smiled. “What do you mean, sir, you’re our stripper remember? You’re supposed to drive your bike ‘round back and ditch it in the pool before putting on a show for us.”
He blinked. “Of course, ma’am, I’ll get right on that,” he agreed enthusiastically, hopping onto his motorcycle and gunning the engine. I barely got back to the pool in time to change the music up to something more suitable for his strip tease. One thing I’ll say, the boy had talent.
Carver jumped halfway out of the car seat when I unlatched the door on the passenger’s side. It was dark and he’d been looking out the other side towards the sorority house. “JESUS! Christ, Mary, Joeseph! Don’t do that to me!”
“Sorry,” I apologized, breathless. It was dark out and the shadows concealed my face as I slammed the door shut behind me, “we have to get out of here, now!”
He turned the key in the ignition but the car took a moment to roar to life. “Where the fuck were you? I’ve been waiting here for hours!” He shouted at me.
“I had to take the long way out, just get this car moving! They could be right behind us!”
Finally we powered off, screeching around the first corner as Carver overreacted to my panic. “What the hell was in there? What did you see?”
“You wouldn’t fucking well believe me if I told you!” I screeched, wringing my hands together.
He paused and took a deep breath. “Try me,” he said calmly, staring at the road.
Remembering myself, I put my seatbelt on, shaking all over. “No, you don’t want to know. Hell, I don’t want to know.”
“Did they do something to you?” Carver asked, his face lined with worry. “Come on, talk to me.”
“I’m… I’m all right,” I said, clutching my arms and breathing deeply, “I got away before they could…”
“It’s ok, I’m sorry,” he sighed, reaching out to stroke my hair. “Look, I’m really sorry we got you into this. It wasn’t right sending you in alone and I know that doesn’t make it better… look, there’s an old factory on the east side of town, do you know it?”
I nodded slowly. “Yeah, my granddad used to work there.”
“O’Conner, Frank and the Doc are waiting for us there, ok? We get there and you can blow this whole thing wide open and get some payback.”
Bowing my head, I let my hair fall in front of my face. “Pull over,” I demanded weakly, “I think I’m going to be sick.”
Nodding, he eased on the brake and pulled onto the shoulder. The road we were on was dark with few street lamps to light the way. After a moment of silence, I hugged him, sobbing.
“Hey, hey,” he cooed softly, “it’s all right now, ok? It’s all right.”
“It’s not ok!” I wailed into his chest. “I’m shaking all over, it hurts, you’re so warm… and I’m so thirsty…”
He stiffened in my arms a moment before I struck, sinking my teeth into his neck in the blink of an eye. My fangs pierced the vein on the left side of his neck, over the heart. Sweet nectar sprayed into my mouth, his own heart pumping his life into my mouth and down my throat. I sucked and sucked and sucked, intent on leaving him as nothing but a dry, desiccated, sack of bones. Dragging him down onto the bench seat, I straddled his prone form as I continued to swallow.
The car door opened and I felt Wisteria’s fingers in my long, wavy, platinum hair. “That’s it, my child,” she whispered to me, “drink deep and grow strong.”
“I think that’s enough. You’re not going to let her kill him are you?” Carmilla growled from the other side of the car.
“Why not? They’re all just cattle, dear heart. We could throw the other three into a pit with her as well.”
“You know we can’t just kill two police officers and an FBI agent.”
“Why not?” Wisteria asked petulantly. “My little girl is so thirsty; it would be wicked to deprive her.”
“People will come looking. They’ll ask questions!”
“So, we just mesmerize a few witnesses to say the FBI agent left with Corporal Valentine on a westbound train and leave them chasing their own tails. The two detectives, a ditch and some fire solves that problem and the good professor works for you. Ravencrest is OUR town now, Carmilla.”
The redhead hit the roof of the car with enough force to dent it. “GOD DAMN IT, Wisteria, this isn’t a game!”
She laughed. “Just teasing, Carmilla dear, you take things so seriously these days. I swear, you need to relax a little.”
I felt Wisteria’s hand slide up my skirt and over my rounded butt a moment before it slipped between my legs. I squealed when she pinched my clitoris, removing my fangs from Carver’s neck.
“Be a good little girl and lick the wound closed, Suzanne,” Wisteria ordered sternly.
Nodding, I reluctantly complied, happy just for the taste of what was left on his neck even though I was sorely tempted to bite again.
Carmilla glared at her maker. “All right, what about the other three?”
“All yours, darling one,” Wisteria said, “I trust your brood to deal with them as you see fit, I better get our newest initiate back to the sorority house.”
I was enraptured by the feel of my own skin as my mother pulled me from the car, sucking at what remained of his blood on my lips and teeth in the desperate need to taste of a little bit more of my new ambrosia. “That hit the spot,” I whispered, leaning against Wisteria’s shoulder as she hugged me close.
“That’s my girl,” Wisteria encouraged, stroking my hair. “To quote that story the herd loves so well, I believe this is the start of a beautiful friendship.”
She couldn’t have been more wrong.
Finishing up taking pictures of the naked police officer getting oral from a busty blonde sorority girl with a digital camera I’d borrowed from one of the guests, the party was wilder than ever. Some of the students, boys and girls, were streaking in the front yard while they toilet papered everything in sight. The guy I’d made out with a few hours ago had each hand down the front of two girl’s string bikinis in the pool while he was still fully dressed. There was a police motorcycle at the bottom of said pool and a homosexual orgy going on around the side of the house. Lydia was no longer the only girl bumping ugly upstairs and the two guys who had beat each other senseless lay groaning in the back yard amidst the debris of broken garden gnomes and plant matter. The bar was almost dry and the music was swinging.
All in a night’s work for the queen of the party and mistress of ceremonies: Suzanne.
Carmilla managed to surprise me by sneaking up and slipping her arm around my waist. “You’re slipping, dollface,” she teased, “where are the scourges, whips and chains?” I still thought she looked better in an evening gown but she really knew how to dress the part of a hot student too.
Grinning, I leaned into her. “I try to save the Marquis De Sade shit for more appreciative clientele. So to what do I owe the honour of a visit from my big sister? How’s the new batch of pledges shaping up?”
“Josephine’s been busy playing with one of the newbies lately,” Carmilla whispered into my ear, “and Wisteria has her hands full trying to control her latest creation. I haven’t seen anyone fight her so hard since, well, you.”
I sighed. “Not hard enough.”
“Let it go,” she told me, “it wasn’t your fault. You should come home.”
“Exiled, in case you’ve forgotten,” I scoffed, rolling my eyes.
“Wisteria’s worse than ever,” she said. “We need you.”
“I’ll think about it,” I answered noncommittally.
“Well then,” the redhead whispered, making me shiver with a brush of her lips on my neck, “maybe I can give you something to think about.”
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