Thursday, February 21, 2019
Succubus Dreams CHAPTER 26
New Years Eve.Warren, Emerald Citys owner, had thrown a swank party at his house and invited the whole staff, a hanker with astir(predicate) fifty new(prenominal)s. His house was enormous, and hed sp bed no expense. Waiters worked the crowd. A bartender made drinks with great flourish. A DJ spun medicinal drug in the corner. It was probably the most elaborate party Id been to completely year. Every oneness was having a great clock.Well, except me, naturally.Maddie and stage set were there. To get inher. It was strange to see them come expose of the closet as a couple so openly, after all the time he and I had spent hiding our relationship. But when shed arrived adventure in Seattle a a few(prenominal) days ago, shed made no attempts at secrecy. Everyone at the pedigree had populaten within twenty-four hours, and it was still a source of more buzzing and speculation. The general consensus was that they were cute.And, agreeing them, I conjectural that if I werent so inti mately involved, Id presuppose they were cute too. Mostly they made me want to go throw up the caviar Id just eaten. They stood together with a few other staff across the room, holding hands. Maddie glowed interchangeable a succubus, lecture animatedly to Beth about something. Seth, cuted up for a change and spirit gorgeous, listened with a small smile though there was something solemn in his eyes. He looked uncomfortable, and I strongly suspected hed been brought here at Maddies urging. I didnt think he was the type whod come and rub their relationship in my face, but then, Id never thought hed break up with me either.Just then, he glanced up to scan the room and met my gaze. By accident or on purpose, I couldnt raise. We held each others eyes for a mowork forcet. His expression grew troubled, wistful. I dont sleep together what mine looked like. A piece later, he false his attention bottom to the others. But the small smile was gone.Makes you want to brush your teeth, doesnt it?Doug approached me, holding what I believed to be his fifth rum and coke. I pointed to it.What, all that sugar youre drunkenness?He grinned. I mean my sister and Mortensen, as well you know.I gave them one more glance, then turned back to him. Everyone thinks theyre cute.I guess. I cant decide how to feel. He knocked back his drink. I mean, hes sleeping with my sister, right? Im supposed to be, like, outraged and want to defend her honor. Or something. But part of mes in prescribeection maybe theyll hit it off so well that shell move in with him. And that kind of captures mehappy.Ugh. Bad enough they were dating at all. Moving in together? I couldnt even think that far ahead. Theyd only been an gunpoint for a week. I silently counted to five and try non to say something Id regret.Who can say? I murmured vaguely.Doug tilted his head as he regarded me. Al offices figured youd be the one going after him, what with your hoagie worship and his erotic stories about you. He was referring to a short account of Seths that had appeared in a magazine not too long ago. The quirky heroine bore an uncanny and completely coincidental resemblance to me.I could tell by his voice and face that Doug was joking. Hed never believed there had been anything among Seth and me. Little did he know how close to home his joke hit.Well, I told him. Looks like your sisters going to be the one in the erotic stories now.Doug paled. Oh my God. I never thought of that. He glanced at his empty glass. I gotta get another one.I watched him go and felt a smile travail at my lips, despite my resolution to be miserable.And I was definitely doing a good job at the miserable part. I didnt approach anyone at the party and only spoke a few words to those who tried to engage me in conversation. Id al nominate turned down several men whod tried to fetch me a drink or get me to dance. I just wanted to be alone. Really, I shouldnt have come.Never thought Id see you alone at an event like this.Id felt his front end behind me before I heard him. Carter, you party crasher. I know you didnt get an invitation.Hey, I heard this was the place to be.Isnt crashing one of the seven fiendishly holy shit.The angel had stepped in front of me. His chin-length blond hair was rinse and brushed, and he wore khakis and a blue polo shirt. The ensemble was utterly casual and in like manner the nicest thing Id ever seen him in.He laughed, knowing what had surprised me. I couldnt show up like I usually do. Im still underdressed compared to you. I had on a form-fitting satin dress with a collar that went all the way up to my neck. Black. kindred my mood.Yeah, I said, but if were measuring comparison to our common ware, youre the best-dressed person in here.This is a great party, he said, eyeing the room. He had a drink in his hand that I swore he hadnt had a moment ago. You dont look like youre having a very good time.I wasnt ready to talk about that yet, not to him. Averting my eyes, I stared absentmindedly to where Doug was hit on some woman about twenty years former(a) than he was. The DJs current song ended, and the guitar notes of a new one kicked up. smart Home Alabama.Oh, fuck, I said.What? driveed Carter.I hate this song.Really? Ive always care it.I sighed. What happened to Yasmine?His mocking humor faded. You know what happened to her. She belongs to Hell now. Im sure theyll make good use of her.But will she do it? I asked. testament she really turn her back on Heaven and fight?They always do. It was exactly what Vincent had said. Once shes spent enough time shunned by other angels and denied the face of the divinewell, shell want to fight against Heaven.Thats stupid. Its like shesI dont know. Like shes being forced to go bad.She made the decision to fall.She did it out of have it away Youre always telling me that love is the most wonderful thing in the universe.It is. But an angels love must be given to the power supra first, then to h umanity as a whole second. It cant be bestowed on just one person human or nephilim.Thats stupid. I think the nephilim have it right thinking all of us are messed up. I handed my glass to a passing waitress. It had been empty for a while. Hesitantly, I brought up something that was still troubling me, something this song wouldnt let me forget. Carterabout Nyx. Her visionsare they always true?As far as I know. They dont always play out like people think, though. Why do you ask?No reason. Well, I mean, just curious about what she showed me.Ah. Yeah, thats tricky. He frowned. Since she was very manipulating you, its hard to sayI dont know everything about her. Whatd she show you?Its not impor The music abruptly s flushped, and from across the room, I heard someone shouting numbers. TennineI looked at a nearby clock. or so midwickedness.EightsevenPeople were get out noise makers and drinks. Couples were getting close.SixfiveMaddie drew close to Seth. He leaned down toward her, e xpression nervous.FourthreeI clutched Carters sleeve. I couldnt watch this. I couldnt watch Seth and Maddie kiss. Get me out of here, I gasped, suddenly having trouble breathing. iiCarter Get me The world exploded in color around me. snappy night air blasted my face. Disoriented, I staggered and felt Carter catch my arm to steady me. We stood on top of a roof, directly facing the quadriceps femoris Needle. Fireworks burst around it in showers of rainbow sparks. The accompanying noise startled me, and I gasped. Farther away, other fireworks sparkled on the horizon.Best view in the city, joked Carter.I stared around, still confused, until I was finally able to triangulate our position. Were on top of the bookstore.He released my arm, and we stood there watching the fireworks for several minutes. We were so close to the lieu Needle that I could soon smell the smoke as the thread blew over us. I started to rub my arms, then remembered to shape-shift on a coat.A new year has all so rts of possibilities, Georgina, Carter finally said, eyes still on the show.Not for me. Ive lost all mine. Ive lost Seth. I screwed up.Its not all your fault. Relationships are symbiotic. Takes two to make them work, two to make them fall apart. Seths got freshet of blame in this.I shook my head. Nothe things he did. It was my fault.Youre lacking(p) the big picture, Daughter of Lilith. Youre forgetting Niphons role. What was he trying to do?Ruin my life, I said bitterly. He had a part, yeah, but he complicated what Id already messed up.Why? Whyd he do it?Because he hates me.Carter sighed. Youre not getting it.I turned toward him. What do you mean? What more is there to get? lone(prenominal) so ofttimes I can tell you. Only so much I can interfere. He fell silent as a particularly showy burst of silver sparkles lit the night sky.The deli conversation with Hugh came back to me. Diddid he really mess something up with my contract? Is it flawed?Thats your sides business. I cant tell you anything about that. He sighed at once more. I can tell you that eternity is an awfully long time to keep accruing and carrying around guilt.Why do you care so much? I demanded. Why do you care so much about what happens to me and Seth?He looked back down at me. I like happy endings. I like helping make them happen.Yeah, well. You kind of fucked this one up.His old, cynical smile returned. You want to go home?I turned toward the Space Needle. I want to finish the show.Okay.Oh, hey. Wait. I reached into my purse and pulled out a cashmere knit hat. I handed it to him. Merry Christmas. Sorry I didnt wrap it.Carter examined his Secret Santa present, then put it on. Neat.When he did finally present me home, he used the same angelic teleportation that always made me meagerly nauseous. Aubrey greeted my entrance, rubbing against my legs as I fumbled for the lights. Beneath the floor, it sounded like my neighbors were having a party.I kicked my heels off in the middle of the living r oom floor and walked toward my bedroom, unbuttoning my dress as I went. I let it fall to the floor, happy to be reposition of the tight fabric. Opening my closet door, I knelt down and began rummaging through it until I unearthed the old shoe box again.Reaching up to the perspective just above my breastbone, I found Seths ring on its chain. I unfastened it and held the ring in one hand for a long time, staring at its smooth, shining surface and winking sapphires. I took out the old worn ring from the box and held it in my other hand. For a while, I just sat there, looking back and forth between the two. They were differentand yet so alike. You were destined for heartache. And are going to usurp that forever. You arent learning. You arent changing.With a sigh, I placed both rings into the box, next to a heavy gold cross. I closed the lid and shoved it all back into the closet.It was over. It was all over.Still half-naked, I walked back to where Id dropped my purse and found my c ellphone phone. I dialed a number and waited.Hello?Dante? This is Georgina.Who?With a start, I agnize Id never actually told him my name. The succubus.Oh. I had a feeling hed already acknowledge my voice. Happy New Year.I took a deep breath. Are you free tonight?There was a long, pregnant pause. What about the man in the dream? he finally asked. There is no man in the dream.