Eisheth had noticed his disappearance into their past, and she could read his desire. "You are thinking of Number Three. You want a woman. You want Number Twelve to be a woman."
"Janice Evans — the bitch who fired me."
"Ah, your nameless Number Three was straight, but she was fairly weak, and I hadn't fed for a month. Is that why we are waiting until Halloween? You need me hungry, to take a woman who is otherwise a slave to man meat, and turn her into a lipstick lesbian, while you watch us play?"
"Something like that." Janice was possibly a better target than even Courtney. Courtney had always professed to wanting to try a threesome, but the way she had resisted Eisheth gave Michael doubts. Janice, however, had a reputation as Lehman's go-to girl if you and your wife wanted a third. It is what had helped her rise to the position where she had been able to make sure Michael took the fall. And Michael needed someone with Janice's sexual predilections for what he had planned for Halloween.
Number Four and Five had been a pair of twin brothers. Eisheth had seen one of them standing on a street corner on a Friday night, trying to hail a cab. She had been complaining about the hunger for over a month, and Michael was running low on cash.
Once he had followed them back to Michael's apartment, Eisheth had turned on her full charms. The man immediately insisted on calling his brother. The two of them had some sick joint fantasy about double-teaming the same woman, but they had never worked up the guts to actually get a girl to agree to be made the filler in a twin sandwich, until tonight. The brother in their apartment didn't even need to ask Eisheth if she would participate in their fantasy — he just knew, and invited his brother to share in his fate.
Eisheth had lain between them, her legs scissored so that one was wrapped around one brother each, as both of her nether orifices were penetrated. Eisheth genuinely seemed to enjoy her couplings, usually not rushing things, but she took extra long with the twins, slowing them down to barely perceptible thrusts — emitting coos of pleasure while her breasts were sucked — before her voice rose to gasps of ecstasy — verbally urging them on to a climactic, frenetic fucking — screaming her lust until both brothers ended at the same time — each expelling their final breath into one of her perfect shell-like ears.
"That may have been their fantasy, but I have to admit it's always been one of mine as well," Eisheth mused as she stretched out naked on the empty bed for her familiar post-coital cock-tease. "I didn't think it was one of yours, Michael, but it looks like I was wrong. If you don't take care of that erection soon, you are going to explode. How long has it been?" Her face took on an expression of mock pity. "Four months? I can read your sexual history just by looking at you, and that's the longest you have gone without an orgasm since puberty, It must be... I don't know... Hell?"
Michael changed the subject. "I guess Hell is real, then."
"You ask me that after having your own pet demon for four months? Not much into theological introspection, are you, Michael? Are you finally wondering whether these actions of yours are going to echo in the afterlife? Of course they are."
"My actions? You are the one who kills them."
"While you profit. You haven't actually tried to get rid of me, have you Michael?"
"What's Hell like?"
"Don't worry about it. You will find out when it's time."
"Fire and brimstone? Devils with pitchforks?"
Eisheth cocked an eyebrow, and pursed her mouth in distaste. "Please."
"So what's it like?"
"I am a sister-daughter of Lilith, Mother of the Lilim . I am Senechal to Claxulub, Shaggy-Loined Goat Lord of the Stygian Host. I am honor-bound to never reveal such secrets."
"Honor bound? You just did 'reveal such secrets'."
Eisheth had been looking solemn, but suddenly broke into a grin. She had been playing with him. "Good point. It's a dreadfully boring place. I much prefer it up here. Your kind are much more satisfying than taking a Shaggy-Loined Goat Lord to bed, much less the entire Stygian Host, which he likes to make me do now and then."
Michael could almost believe he was talking to a real woman. "I bet the shaggy loins itch."
"Don't get me started. Claxulub also has two phalluses — two phalli — two cocks. You think those twins had double-penetration fantasies? And as the youngest I am the one who has to service him. I couldn't even sit down for the entire Renaissance. That was my punishment for failing to seduce a Pope. They should have sent an Incubus. I swear the pointy-hatted bastard was queer."
"Eisheth, this won't work."
She smiled until her teeth showed. "What won't work?"
"This is another attempt to seduce me, by making me think we are friends."
Her smile broadened. "But we are friends Michael. I like you so much I could just eat you all up."
He waved his hands in the gesture of banishment, dismissing her until he called her again.
Which he did, inadvertently, later that night. Michael had been tortured with erotic dreams for months, always starring Eisheth, or Courtney, or Courtney and Eisheth, but even his dreams couldn't be wet. At some point, just before orgasm, Eisheth would turn into his mother, or his seventy year old kindergarten teacher, and the urge to orgasm would vanish instantly. But this time, he woke up instead, and heard a low murmur from the living room.
Michael's instincts were that he was being robbed, and the adrenaline rush had him instantly awake. If they were burglars, he would merely allow Eisheth to manifest, and they would shortly be on their way to a pleasant, sticky death, but he tiptoed through the hallway just the same.
"...used the power of his dream orgasm to manifest and summon you, my mother-sister."
What a hell bitch.
"You think he may be the one prophesized?" That wasn't Eisheth's voice. It was lower, more sultry, impossibly sexy, promising a warm, wet embrace of velvet walls around his cock, and a verbal urging to fuck his life away and love her for it. He had never lost his nighttime erection, but it pulsed in his boxers, and he desperately wanted to enter the room to see the owner of such a voice.
"I have never met one so strong, mother-sister. He has resisted me for four turns of the moon. No man inclined toward women has ever resisted me for more than three."
Michael had been moving closer to what he knew must be Lilith, but Eisheth's description of him as "strong" steeled his will, and he froze in his tracks. That's right. I am strong.
"He would need to last eight more, 'til Hollow's Eve, and he would need to know — or at least perform — the specifics of the ritual. Has he any knowledge?"
"Good. Distract him from it. Encourage him to destroy the notes of your former master Taylor. If you are right, we must fight his ascension with all our power. You must try to break his will before Hallow's Eve and claim him for your own."
"It shall be done, mother-sister."
Michael returned to his bed — his mind reeling, pondering the different potential meanings of "ascend," each more glorious than the last.
Michael had decided to use revenge as his motive for choosing Eisheth's next victims. He had been concerned about covering his tracks. Already the papers contained articles wondering if a serial killer was on the loose, so he tried to hold Eisheth back as long as he could.
Number Six had been a stuffy bond trader named Patrick, from their former English office. Patrick had opposed Michael's office and its aggressive move into mortgage securitization. It was his "toldya so" email in the summer of 2008 that had started Michael's downfall.
Upon hearing from mutual acquaintances that Patrick was in town, employed with another firm, Michael had invited him over for drinks. He assumed that Patrick would come because he would like to gloat.
Patrick, for all his pretensions of British upper society, had been a submissive, saying nothing in response to meeting Eisheth, which is how Michael had recognized the same symptoms in Jack. Michael had listened to each crack of the whip, heard each cry of pain, and watched each time Eisheth had licked Patrick's wounds clean before starting again. It had taken Patrick hours before Eisheth finally fellated him to death, sucking his existence in spasms down her throat.
"You aren't a submissive, Michael." Eisheth was lying on her stomach, kicking her feet, and propping her face on hands held high enough to allow Michael to view the swells and valley of her breasts.
"You don't think I know that?"
"You watched me punish him, and you wanted to reverse the roles. You want to be the one with the whip, with me begging at your feet, pleading with you to be allowed, please, to please let me come." She composed her face in perfect supplication, eyes wide, biting her lip. She pulled her knees up underneath her and extended her arms until it appeared as if she were prostrating herself before him.
"You can do it, you know," she said. "You can tie me up, spank me, slap me, cuff me, beat me, and abuse me. You can make me parade naked in front of your bedroom window, wear a collar in public and call me your bitch, your whore, your slut, your pet, and your slave. I promise with my all my heart and cunt that I will love every minute of it, even if you never stick that magnificent cock inside me and fuck me."
Michael looked at her, furious over the raging hard on in his pants that was his only sexual pleasure anymore, hating her for taunting him. "Bitch," was all he said.
"Your bitch, oh sweet Master."
He dismissed her.
With Eisheth gone, and temporarily sated, Michael was free to pore over Taylor's books and notes. He found little to help him understand the conversation he had overheard last month. There were four Succubi names that seemed to recur — Lilith, Eisheth, Agrat, and Naamah. Taylor had done extensive cross-referencing of reported encounters with succubi. Each seemed to have their own method. Lilith had a hypnotic voice and eyes that took control of a man's will. Eisheth became your sexual fantasy. Agrat took the form of a nymphet, and catered to a special clientele. Naamah was the Queen of Corruption, specializing in seducing the pure and mighty. The cross-referencing was comprehensive, and Michael noticed that there were no sightings of Eisheth during the Renaissance, and that Naamah hadn't been seen observed since mid-Nineteenth Century Virginia, where she had fucked her way through a swathe of Confederate plantation owners, working her way north, where she disappeared.
Michael remembered Eisheth's indication that there were only three succubi, and he wondered whether Naamah had been killed. The possibility of killing a succubus should be explored. He might need that sometime very soon.
Number Seven had been the stick-up-her-ass attorney who had lived across the hall from Michael. Back when he was married to Courtney, and still employed at Lehman, she had turned down several attempts of his to get her in bed, and hadn't appreciated being told in the elevator that she just needed a real man to fuck her sideways.
After two weeks without a victim, Eisheth would start to manifest on her own. After four weeks he couldn't dispel her at all. She would follow him, taunting him, promising that she would behave if he just found her someone to fuck, or if he fucked her himself. She needed a cock between her legs, or a woman's lips, or someone else's fingers. She couldn't help who she was, and what she needed, pleeeeeeease...
Finally, after he woke up to the musky smell of female arousal and found her masturbating in his bed, threatening to fuck the bedpost, Michael threw on his bathrobe, and had Eisheth follow him down the hall.
As he suspected, the tight-ass attorney must have been a lesbian. Eisheth had her nuzzling between her legs within a minute of the door being opened.
"She wasn't a lesbian, you know," Eisheth said after she had finished.
Michael had already found all the money and jewelry in the apartment, when he hadn't been stopping to watch Eisheth and the attorney give each other face rides.
"She actually liked you at first, and thought you were hot, and that Courtney was lucky for being able to 'tap that' every night. She just thought you were a jerk for trying to cheat on your wife."
"How does that work? If she wasn't a dyke, how did you seduce her? I thought you needed a sexual fantasy."
Eisheth sighed. "That's how I prefer to work. I figure if I am going to kill someone, I might as well make their last minutes on earth as close to paradise as they are ever gonna get."
"Don't pretend to have a heart. It isn't convincing."
"What the fuck do you know? You have a choice."
Michael was confused by Eisheth's anger. If this was another ploy, it was a new one, but it didn't stop him from responding. "My choice was taken away when I was fired and found you the same day. I need to survive until I can find a way to..." ascend "get back in the game. It was this or work retail."
"So you did have a choice."
"That's no choice at all. I made my company billions. It's not my fault they lost it by holding on to the junk-rated mortgage tranches. They were supposed to sell them."
"Caveat Emptor, babe."
"Isn't that what happened? The buyer was wary?"
"What the fuck is this? Why am I taking ethics lessons from a demon?"
"I just think we should under—"
Michael dismissed her. If he was lucky, he had two more weeks before her libido would allow her to self-manifest. He wanted to hit the books.
Number Eight was the independent accountant who exposed "discrepancies" in Lehman's balance sheets. Michael had been a rock star. He had made his first million within his first year, and was worth another twenty by 2007. He was an innovator, with a profile in the Journal. The accountant was a nobody, with some petty complaint that Lehman was hiding losses in their books. The ensuing report had resulted in the vultures circling.
Michael brought Eisheth to his Brooklyn brownstone. Turned out the repressed little douchebag had never been able to convince a girlfriend to do anal. Eisheth obliged him, and he was smiling as he shot his life into her ass.
Number Nine was Courtney's divorce lawyer. The prick had humiliated him on the stand as they went over their marital assets, which had become non-existent. Most of Michael's assets had been in Lehman shares — bonuses doled out for his financial innovations, but that he couldn't sell for two years. By that time, the company had collapsed, and his net worth was a few thousand dollars in the bank, a closet full of Armani, and the deed to an Upper East Side condo. Courtney didn't want half the condo. Why should she? It was worth less than the mortgage due to the collapse. Michael had offered her half, trying to appear generous, but her lawyer had spotted the trap, and walked through all their finances, pointing out the poetic justice of a Lehman bond trader — especially one at the heart of the financial collapse — living with an underwater mortgage. He was a rare specimen, the attorney had argued — he belonged in the circus. Even the judge had laughed.
The attorney was a closeted cross dresser. Eisheth didn't judge. She just produced a ballroom gown out of thin air for him to wear, and the attorney fucked her while hiking the skirt up to his waist.
Michael preempted Eisheth's seduction attempts of him by dismissing her instantly after each of these death, but he drew no further to discover what it meant to "ascend" — until after Number Ten.
Number Ten was a freelance journalist, and a former bond trader himself, who had done a post-mortem on the Lehman collapse where Michael had featured prominently. Michael invited him up for drinks, promising the inside story that Michael had denied him at the time of his article, but which he could use for his forthcoming book. Michael introduced him to Eisheth and the pansy was soon slowly loving her — going down on her on a bed that was suddenly covered with satin sheets and rose petals. Eisheth stretched the seduction out all night, and finally took the journalist as both he and the morning came at the same time. Michael must have imagined it, but he could have sworn Eisheth had a tear in her eye, and she actually yelled at him again. "The lady lawyer was bad enough, but this guy? One could read through the entire Infernal Almagest and never find a piece of work like you." Her hand jumped to her mouth as if she had just said something she shouldn't. but quickly recovered, touching some of the rose petals left on the bed, and looking sullen.
Michael dismissed her. He had caught her mistake, and planned to exploit it. The text itself was in Taylor's collection, but it wasn't in a language he spoke, so he had ignored it. He had a Google search running within seconds.
The Infernal Almagest was originally a Ninth Century Latin Who's Who of Hell, but the only existing copies were in Arabic. Michael found the Arabic original, ran the text through a translation program, and combed through it for clues.
He did find out that there supposedly was a Shaggy-Loined Goat Lord of the Stygian Host, and he found a reference to Eisheth as "now the youngest of her kind", but buried in a discussion of the succubi was a footnote, containing a prophecy, author unknown. The translation program rendered the text choppy, but there was definitely a reference to "ascend."
Even making allowances for translating a Twelfth Century Arabic version of a Ninth Century Latin text into Twenty-First Century English, the passage was obscure.
Will to power Mark of lilim Moons of twelve Eve of Saints Sharing of Twelfth Seed of man Dead of Lilim Ascent to man
As prose, it was shit. Either the writer needed to read more Nostradamus to get an ear for prophecy, or it was butchered by way of two translations. For all that, the meaning seemed to clarify with each reading.
Michael felt a chill as he grew convinced that certain the lines referred to him. Didn't he bear the "mark of lilim" on his forearm as a ward against Eisheth's power? He remembered that he had received that tattoo prior to a party the previous Halloween, as some asshole dressed as a pimp kept touching his arm, and it hurt like fuck. Moons of Twelve indeed.
He ran the text through a few other translation programs, but didn't find anything to improve the meanings, and it made a sick sort of sense. If he was reading this correctly, he needed to participate in Eisheth's next seduction on Halloween night, and if he climaxed, Eisheth would die, he would be free of her torment, and he would ascend into some sort of power.
It all seemed very simple, except that participating in a sexual act in tandem with Eisheth would require getting uncomfortably close to her while she was in the heat of her power - or height of her power, rather. With Eisheth it's the same difference. But if he succeeded, he would be rid of her and the risk would be gone forever. He had evidently set some sort of record in surviving temptation by a bound succubus for more than a few months, and the price was unbearable. If he didn't fuck something soon he would decide that death was preferable to lifelong blue balls.
That must have been what happened to the missing fourth succubus — Naamah. No wonder Eisheth was worried and had been working with Lilith to block his ascendance. He was in a prophecy, and he would come into power. Michael didn't understand much about demons and the black arts, but if there was one thing he understood, it was power.