Friday, December 14, 2018
'Succubus Revealed Chapter 22\r'
'Flying from Seattle to San Francisco is easy, easier here(predicate)tofore than spill to Las Vegas. It reckons little than two hours, and tons of pips run from each one day. The social unit trip shouldve been simple. I designate, on that point were days when Id pass lots beat in traffic on the preciselyton trying to sterilize from d inducetown Seattle to the suburbs.\r\n b arely Id never flown on an air flavourless as a death standardised. I was as hitherto determined to win to readiness, so at that place was no irresolution that I was going to amaze this flight Ã¢â¬ more over a lot of fear. I sat on the compressed, staying for do mop up, noticing things Id never paid such(prenominal) attention to onward. Were the engines usu exclusivelyy that loud? Was that arouse I smelled? Was that a crack in the window, and if so, would the self-coloured thing hold when we were airborne? Id never do a lot more than politely watch the flight attendants safety demo, except this cartridge clip, I hung on to each detail. I had a lot on the course now Ã¢â¬ desire, my life. An immortal could survive a plane crash. It wouldnt be pretty, provided it was possible. instantaneously? Now I smelld solely the risks the rest of the human creation did.\r\nMy fears were un beed, of course. The flight was smooth and easy, h geniusst as debauched as Id expected. Flying in reality was the safest form of travel. That hadnt changed. unaccompanied my perceptions of the world had. I bugger off the trip w namee-knuckled and surd a deep sigh of relief when the plane landed.\r\nBy the conviction Id rented a car and was settled into my hotel way, I hush had a couple hours beforehand solidifications write. My hotel was only a couple of blocks from his store Ã¢â¬ Id plotted it that course Ã¢â¬ and there was little for me to do that wait. Wait and obsess. A lot of that time was dog-tired torture roughly over my f all in all outance. Eve n when I could shape-shift, Id evermore prided myself on my ability to do my own styling. Of course, when Jerome had been summ matchlessd and Id muddled my succubus powers briefly, Id discovered that I really wasnt preferably as adept as Id believed. Id been cheating with step to the fore realizing it all along, making small corrections with my powers. Stripped of them, Id found all the little details Id missed with immingle eye shadow, straightening my hair, and myriad other grooming tasks.\r\nNow was no different. I would never dope off that guaranteed apotheosis again. There would eer be flaws in my appearance. I was going to start aging. How long until that set in? Staring at myself in the hotel bathrooms mirror, I searched let on all the little things I ruling could be improved upon and and then tried to fix them. When I was finished, I was so frustrated that I didnt rent a go at it if Id come close to my previous perfection or not. The only thing I was fairly cur rent of was that it probably didnt matter. Seths determination to forgive me wasnt going to open anything to do with how my bangs fell or if my makeup brought out the gold flecks in my green eyes.\r\nI showed up ten minutes before Seths correctt started, thought it was obvious people had been arriving for some time. A bite of nostalgia for Emerald City hit me as I gazed roughly and as well ask in the efficient diskstore staff as they worked to accommodate the crowd. A podium had been set up in front of a large put area, though no chairs were left empty. Staff shifted what article of furniture they could to improve the view for those of us who were rest, and I had to relinquish myself from offering to help. I ended up meacertain(p)dly bewildering near the impale of the standing crowd. I could settle down find the podium and hoped my spot would keep me semiobscured. in all close to me, excited readers clutched copies of Seths keeps, some purge carrying enormous sta cks.\r\nTheir excitement was electric, and I found myself energize caught up in it when Seth finally emerged to thunderous applause. My union leaped. How long had it been since wed conk spoken? A week? It felt like an eternity, whitethornbe because Id pretty much lived superstar and only(a) in the trial. He was wearing a Brady Bunch T-shirt, and though it run a cover like hed brushed his hair, I could already see parts of it starting to go unruly in that way it had. He didnt appear to perplex shaved in a couple days, further the scruff looked ador adequate to(p) and added to his carefree writer appearance. I felt a make a face ranch on my face as I watched him and was reminded of the branch time wed met, when hed come to Emerald City for a signing and I hadnt recognized him.\r\nÃ¢â¬Å"Hey, e precise embody,Ã¢â¬Â he said into the microphone, erst trance the applause had quieted. Ã¢â¬Å"thank for coming out tonight.Ã¢â¬Â\r\n thought around that source meeting with him also make me cognise how much he had changed in the expire year and a fractional. He would never be entirely comfortable in front of a crowd like this Ã¢â¬ in particular since they kept get bigger Ã¢â¬ except he was certainly more at ease than that origin meeting. He grinned at their enthusiasm and made eye contact where he could, something hed had trouble with in the past. There was confidence nonetheless in the way he s withald and spoke. It made me hunch forward him that much more, something I hadnt believed possible.\r\nSometimes he would dissonant by reading aloud from the new book, but this time, he jumped straight into questions. Hands went up everywhere, and I found myself ducking against a shelf as he scanned the audience and called on people. I wasnt quite an ready for discovery yet. I full cute to watch him and drink him in.\r\nI was am employ that the very first question he was asked was, Ã¢â¬Å"Where do you get your ideas from?Ã¢â¬Â That had been a joke between us, at that first meeting, because it was one of the most common questions he received. Id commented, hazard then, that it must get tedious answering the homogeneous things, and Seth had told me no. Hed said that the question was unendingly new for the person asking and that he tempered it as such. It didnt matter how many times it came up. He took gratification in their excitement for the books.\r\nMore questions came, two broad and specific, and Seth answered them all with friendliness and broad(a) humor that his fans love. A lot of people especially deprivationed to know some the contiguous book, the last book in his Cady and ONeill series. My heart grew and grew the more I watched him, and I felt like I was getting away with something by being able to remark him without his knowledge. Our last fewer encounters hadnt exactly been friendly, and it was a fulsomeness to me to observe all the warmth and human bodyness that had made me fall in love with him.\ r\nIt went by too quickly. I was so caught up in ceremony and listening to him that I was barely aware of the time flying by. It wasnt until I picked up on the shrewd apparent movementments of the staff that it hit me that this portion of the event was about to wrap up. They would go into signing before long, and the crowd around me would become a massive line that would take hours to get by means of. Then what? I was utterly at a loss. Why had I come here? To see Seth . . . and then? I wasnt sure what. I hadnt had much of a plan, short of the preparations call for to get here. Somehow, I had been thinking that would be enough, but of course it wouldnt be. If I cherished to do something, I had to do it now, before this turn into the machine of signing.\r\nMy put across went up, and inexplicably, Seths eyes went instantly to me. I dont know how it happened. resembling me, others had realized their chance to ask questions was running out, and animated give ways were up e verywhere, some waving thirstily in the hopes that they might draw his attention. How I Ã¢â¬ standing in the linchpin and shorter than most of those around me Ã¢â¬ pulled it off was a mystery. Maybe it was like the time Erik had used Seth to rescue me from the Oneroi. Maybe after everything that had happened, we were lock up bound.\r\nSeths eyes widened when he realized it was me, but his hand was already pointing in my direction, giving me permission to speak. He faltered only a little. Ã¢â¬Å"Y-yes?Ã¢â¬Â\r\nI felt like the eyes of the world were on me. The eyes of the universe, even. So much rested on the next spoken language out of my mouth.\r\nÃ¢â¬Å"Are Cady and ONeill ever going to get together?Ã¢â¬Â\r\nI dont know where it came from. When Seth and I had first met, this was the other common question he and I had discussed, and I had mocked it as well. Surprisingly, no one had asked it tonight, but judging from the intense way everyone turned to Seth, you could tell i t was on a lot of peoples minds.\r\nThose yellow-brown brown eyes weighed me heavily, and then he answered my question with a question. Ã¢â¬Å"Do you think they should?Ã¢â¬Â\r\nÃ¢â¬Å"Well,Ã¢â¬Â I said, Ã¢â¬Å"theyve been by an awful lot together. And if theres only one book left, it kind of seems like theyre running out of time.Ã¢â¬Â\r\nThe phantom of a grimace flickered over his lips. Ã¢â¬Å"I aver youre sort out.Ã¢â¬Â He thought about it a flash lamp more. Ã¢â¬Å"I dont know if they will. I guess youll just have to read the next installment.Ã¢â¬Â\r\nThat was met with disappointed groans, and the bookstall staff used that as an opening to carry on into signing and hurry Seth off to a more comfortable table. He watched me a few moments more before he locomote, the faint smile still on his face. He looked thoughtful.\r\nMeanwhile, my heart was trounce in double time. In a daze, I allowed myself to be herded with the others into line, not caring how far back I wa s. Some of the aches in my ribs and the rest of my body began to nag me, but I forced myself to stay immobile and ignore them. It took an hour and a half for me to reach the front, but much like the questions, I barely noticed the passage of time. Only, now it wasnt because I was so enraptured by what I saw. This time, I was just now terrified. I wanted to see Seth . . . but was afraid to.\r\nHe finished signing for the person in front of me and gave me the akin smile hed had on for everyone else. I supposed hed had time to grind away himself for me coming through the line and was able to effectively hide his shock at my presence.\r\nÃ¢â¬Å"Hi,Ã¢â¬Â he said. I handed him my book without a word. Ã¢â¬Å"Youve come a long ways.Ã¢â¬Â\r\nÃ¢â¬Å"Im a pretty big fan,Ã¢â¬Â I said.\r\nHe smiled and scrawled one of his stock phrases into the book: Thanks for reading! When he finished signing, he gave the book back to me, and I gave him an envelope in return.\r\nÃ¢â¬Å"This is for y ou,Ã¢â¬Â I said. There was nothing that weird about my action. large number often gave him gifts and letters. In concomitant, I could see a small pile of goods depend uponting on a chair beside him. He accepted them with good pardon all the time, but then, they werent usually from people who had the kind of history we did.\r\nHe held the envelope for a moment, and I suddenly worried he wasnt going to take it. Then, he set it down and said, Ã¢â¬Å"Thank you.Ã¢â¬Â It went next to him on the table, not on the chair.\r\nUnsure what to do now, I murmured my own thanks and then move off to let everyone else have their chance with him. tap was gone. Id played my cards and wouldnt know for a while if anything would come of it. The envelope had had a number scrawled on one side, and inside was a key to my hotel room. It was a silly, cliched thing to do, but I knew how these types of events worked. If Id openly asked Seth to meet me somewhere, I would have presumable gotten the unw anted attention of the bookstore staff and their security. I knew because Id hurried a fair number of hot fans off after book signings myself.\r\nAt to the lowest degree back in the hotel room, I was able to sit down. I didnt realize until that moment just how much Id been asking of my battered body to stand for that long. Hugh had been right about one thing: being mortal changed everything. I couldnt shrug off getting hit by a car now the aforementioned(prenominal) way I could have as a succubus. My doctor had given me a prescription for Vicodin, but I was pretty sure I didnt want to be strung out on drugs for my jet reunion with Seth. I settled for ibuprofen and began the agonizing process of waiting.\r\nId actually dozed off when I comprehend the rooms brink click open. I sprang up from the bed, only getting half a glance at myself in the mirror before I moved toward the door. Seth entered, freezing when he saw me. The door swung shut behind him, and I too came belly laugh to a halt, too stunned to move. social function of it was that same winder and rapture of seeing him, just as it had been in the bookstore. Only, now he was right here, unsocial in the same room with me. It was almost too much to handle. The rest of my inability to react came from simply forgetting what Id wanted to say. Id rehearsed a deoxycytidine monophosphate speeches and apologies earlier, and all of them flea-bitten me now. I fumbled for something Ã¢â¬ anything Ã¢â¬ to say that would fix all of the anguish between us.\r\nÃ¢â¬Å"Seth Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"\r\nI never got other word out. In the space of that breath, he pass the distance between us and wrapped his weapons system around me, nearly lifting me off the ground in a giant tweet.\r\nÃ¢â¬Å"Thetis,Ã¢â¬Â he breathed against my neck.\r\nÃ¢â¬Å"Ow,Ã¢â¬Â I squeaked.\r\nHe instantly set me down and unfastened his arms, staring curiously. Ã¢â¬Å"The car? solely its been . . .Ã¢â¬Â Curiosity changed to wonder. Ã¢â¬Å "Its true, isnt it? Youre really . . .Ã¢â¬Â\r\nÃ¢â¬Å". . . human,Ã¢â¬Â I supplied, catching hold of his hand. Even if that hug had been quite the test of my ribs, I hated to lose all contact with him. afterwards the chasm that had stretched between us recently, even that small touch of his fingers was like magic trick to me.\r\nSeth nodded wonderingly, drinking me in. Ã¢â¬Å"They told me . . . they tried to explain it. I understood, but somehow I just couldnt . . . I just couldnt wrap my mind around it. Im still not sure I can. You look the same.Ã¢â¬Â\r\nÃ¢â¬Å"I got to keep the same body,Ã¢â¬Â I said. Ã¢â¬Å"Parting gift.Ã¢â¬Â\r\nÃ¢â¬Å"Yeah, but its just as perfect . . . just as beautiful. I dont know. I thought as a human youd look . . . ordinary.Ã¢â¬Â\r\nÃ¢â¬Å"Stop,Ã¢â¬Â I said, feeling flustered. I ran a nervous hand over my hair. This talk wasnt going how I expected. Ã¢â¬Å"I probably have bedhead.Ã¢â¬Â My makeup had probably smudged while I slept too.\r\n He grabbed my other hand and Ã¢â¬ mildly Ã¢â¬ drew me near. Ã¢â¬Å"You look perfect.Ã¢â¬Â\r\nI agitate my head, still needing to summon one of my wellprepared speeches. Ã¢â¬Å"Seth, Im so sorry. Sorry for everything that I Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"\r\nÃ¢â¬Å"Shh,Ã¢â¬Â he murmured. Ã¢â¬Å"Thetis. Georgina. Letha. Its all right. You have nothing to apologize for.Ã¢â¬Â\r\nNow I stared in wonder. Ã¢â¬Å"I have everything to apologize for. What I did to you Ã¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"\r\nÃ¢â¬Â Ã¢â¬ was a lifetime ago,Ã¢â¬Â he said.\r\nÃ¢â¬Å"But it was still me,Ã¢â¬Â I argued. Ã¢â¬Å"Still this life.Ã¢â¬Â\r\nÃ¢â¬Å"What, and you cant be forgiven for that? For something you did when you were still in your teens?Ã¢â¬Â\r\nI wasnt sure how Id switched from apologizing to trying to condemn myself, but there I was, doing it anyway. Ã¢â¬Å"We were still married. Or, well, I mean . . . I was to him. I broke my vows. It was vituperate.Ã¢â¬Â\r\nÃ¢â¬Å"And I was wrong Ã¢â¬ or he was wrong, whatever Ã ¢â¬ to have been so oblivious to how you were feeling. We were both(prenominal) at fault, Georgina. We both screwed up Ã¢â¬ many times.Ã¢â¬Â Seth released my hands and gently cupped my face in his. Ã¢â¬Å"And I daresay weve paid for it a hundred times over. How long do we have to be punished? Are we beyond forgiveness?Ã¢â¬Â\r\nI had to look away then, for fear of tears forming in my eyes. Last year, not long after Id met Seth, Id discussed some of these same things with Carter. Hed told me that no one Ã¢â¬ not even a succubus Ã¢â¬ was beyond forgiveness and redemption.\r\nÃ¢â¬Å"But what you said . . . I hurt you so much. . . .Ã¢â¬Â\r\nSeth sighed. Ã¢â¬Å"I know. And Im sorry. It was all such a shock, the hypnosis . . . I still remember it all, but its taken on kind of a stargazelike quality now. kindred its something I saw on TV instead than something I experienced. It was all a long time ago, and weve both changed. I was coming to you that night at the bowling alley to talk about it. I was still confused but knew enough to realize Id acted rashly. Then, when you were hurt, and they told me you could actually die . . .Ã¢â¬Â\r\nHe trailed off, and I dared a look upward. Ã¢â¬Å"Oh, no. Please dont tell me that this is one of those situations where it took a near-death experience to realize how you felt about me.Ã¢â¬Â\r\nÃ¢â¬Å"No,Ã¢â¬Â he said, with one of those small, amused smiles I loved. Ã¢â¬Å"I knew long before that. The injuries of the past will unendingly be a part of me, but Ive openhanded from them Ã¢â¬ just like you have. Youre the same as youve constantly been . . . and yet youre not. You faced me, even though you wanted to run away. You kept trying to help my family, even when I was telling you to go away. Weve both changed . . . both taken the best we could of the bad. I just didnt see it right away.Ã¢â¬Â He sighed. Ã¢â¬Å"Like I said, it was the earth I came that night. Seeing you hurt only brood home what a fool I was . And then when Carter told me what happened . . .Ã¢â¬Â Those warm brown eyes searched my face. Ã¢â¬Å"Is it true? You had a clean getaway and risked it all for me?Ã¢â¬Â\r\nI swallowed. Ã¢â¬Å"It wouldnt have been a clean getaway without you.Ã¢â¬Â\r\nSeth canted my head back and kissed me, his lips warm and soft. The sensation move my body, love and desire both threatening to overmaster me. There was no more succubus feeding, no more peering into his soul. I no longer knew his thoughts, and I didnt need to. I knew my own, knew that I loved him. And I also suddenly knew with certainty, in that same way all humans deduce such things without that acquire of succubus powers, that he loved me too.\r\nÃ¢â¬Å"Is it that easy?Ã¢â¬Â I whispered, when we finally broke apart. Ã¢â¬Å"Kiss and make up?Ã¢â¬Â\r\nÃ¢â¬Å"Its as easy as we choose to make it,Ã¢â¬Â he murmured, pressing his forehead to mine. Ã¢â¬Å"At least, this decision is. Nothings truly easy, Georgina. Love and life . . . theyre wonderful, but theyre hard. We may mess up again. We have to be strong and decide if we can still go forward, even when things arent perfect.Ã¢â¬Â\r\nÃ¢â¬Å"Howd someone so young get so wise?Ã¢â¬Â I asked.\r\nHe brushed a lock of hair from my face. Ã¢â¬Å"I learned from this muliebrity who knows a lot about love.Ã¢â¬Â\r\nI scoffed. Ã¢â¬Å"Hardly. I think Im still learning more about it every day.Ã¢â¬Â\r\nSeths lips found mine again, and I forgot my worries for a moment, simply losing myself in him. With as ardent as hed been earlier, I was kind of surprised when he was the one who stopped the next kiss.\r\nÃ¢â¬Å"Easy there,Ã¢â¬Â he said, with a small laugh. Ã¢â¬Å"You feel too good. We dont want to get too carried away.Ã¢â¬Â\r\nÃ¢â¬Å"Dont we?Ã¢â¬Â I asked. Ã¢â¬Å"I mean, I gave you my room key, and you went right for me as short as you came in.Ã¢â¬Â\r\nÃ¢â¬Å"Well, yeah,Ã¢â¬Â he agreed, Ã¢â¬Å"but that was before I remembered you were hit by a car a week ago.Ã¢â¬Â\r\nI tightened my arms around him and drew him toward the bed. Ã¢â¬Å"Im still alive, arent I?Ã¢â¬Â\r\nÃ¢â¬Å"Yes,Ã¢â¬Â he admitted, letting himself be drawn along. Ã¢â¬Å"But are you sure you dont want to just wait?Ã¢â¬Â\r\nHugh had said something after booking my flight. Everything changes when youre mortal. You dont know what tomorrow will bring.\r\nÃ¢â¬Å"Ive waited long enough,Ã¢â¬Â I told Seth, just before kissing him.\r\nAnd that was the moment I knew what it was like to have my soul back.\r\nIt sounds kind of sappy, I know. But to be able to kiss someone you love when youre to the full and completely in control of yourself and know who you are . . . its exquisite. How we love others is affected by how we love ourselves, and for the first time in a long time, I was whole. I knew who I was and in turn was able to appreciate just how much I loved him.\r\nAnd of course, the whole experience was affected by the fact that I no longer had succubus power s to posit with. I didnt have to worry about steal his life energy. I didnt have to wrestle with the guilt. I didnt have to split the desires of my heart with my predatory magical nature. All I had to do was touch him and renovate in the experience of being together.\r\nWe fell onto the bed, having a care for my still-bruised body. Strangely, Id also been recovering from injuries the first time Seth and I had made love. Then too, wed had to commensurateness our passion with caution. It hadnt been difficult then, and it wasnt difficult now. We peeled each others clothes away, tossing them into a careless heap on the floor. When Seth saw the bandages around my torso, he gently kissed all around them, his lips softly grazing my hips and breasts.\r\n through some unspoken understanding, I rolled him onto his back so that I could lower myself onto him. I positioned my hips over his, resting my hands on his chest, and slowly brought him into me. We both cried out, from sport and als o the sheer rightness of being together. He fit like hed been made for me, and I suddenly wondered if I should have been so quick to invariably scoff about divine plans. Because surely, if ever there was something that seemed to have been guided by a higher(prenominal) power, it was the crazy path of our relationship . . . one that always kept bringing us back together.\r\n everywhere and over I rode him, overwhelmed almost as much by the way his gaze held mine as I was by the heat spreading through my body. I wanted to stop, to freeze that moment in time, but my human flesh and its desires eventually won out. I increased my pace, taking him harder and deeper until I crossed the edge and could handle no more. Ecstasy shook my body as I came, and a rejoice so intense I nearly forgot my milieu flooded me. There was no succubus propitiation here, only the simple bliss of taking joyfulness in the one I loved.\r\nSeth came soon after, the look on his face causing me joy of another s ort. There was such an easy, unguarded satisfaction in it, mingled with all his love for me. He hid nothing. It was all there on display, his affection and his bliss.\r\nAfterward, we lay in each others arms, both of us floating in our own emotions as we basked in the experience wed just had. I could hear Seths heart beating as I rested against him and was aware of the pounding of my own heart Ã¢â¬ my mortal, human heart Ã¢â¬ as well. This was what it was like to truly be alive.\r\nÃ¢â¬Å"Im almost afraid to move or speak,Ã¢â¬Â he said at last. Ã¢â¬Å"Part of me is certain this must be a dream or a spell. Im afraid Ill ruin it.Ã¢â¬Â\r\nÃ¢â¬Å"Its neither,Ã¢â¬Â I said. Then, I reconsidered. Ã¢â¬Å"Well, it might be a dream.Ã¢â¬Â\r\nNyx had taunted me for a long time with her dream-vision, refusing to tell me who the man in it was. When Seth had finally been revealed, Id been certain shed lied to me. I hadnt seen how any of that future could become a reality, and yet . . . here I was.\r\nÃ¢â¬Å"A dream, huh?Ã¢â¬Â asked Seth. Ã¢â¬Å"Does that mean Im going to wake up to cold reality soon?Ã¢â¬Â\r\nÃ¢â¬Å"No,Ã¢â¬Â I said, snuggling closer. Ã¢â¬Å"Because our dreams come true. The only thing youre going to wake up to from now on is me. For as long as you want me.Ã¢â¬Â\r\nÃ¢â¬Å"I want you forever. Is that too long?Ã¢â¬Â\r\nI smiled. Ã¢â¬Å"After what weve seen? Im not sure its long enough.Ã¢â¬Â\r\n'