Well...here we are. The final chapter of the "Dealmaker" series. I want to thank all of you for your support, love and hilarious comments. It's been a pleasure and a pain to write this story. I really had no intention or idea of how to continue 'Dealmaker', but you were persistent and convinced me to try. Thanks again for following along.
* * *
Come on, come on! If I keep going this slowly, I'll never save them!
Claire raced down the hall, her lungs aching and the muscles in her legs burning. She never slowed, though. Her heart wouldn't let her. She had to save Darrow and her lovers from that disgusting mist. It was seeking them out, hunting them down like a predator. Claire chased after it, hoping she wasn't too late to save them. She no longer followed its trail of icy coldness. She knew exactly where it was going: home.
So close...she'll follow...delicious... Ah! There they are! Now I'll find her...come little girl...this way...
NO! No, you can't have them!
Her afterburners kicked on, sending her flying down the corridor. Fuck! The damned cloud of snot had found her home! Rage burned through her veins. She'd see that thing burnt to a crisp before it laid a slimy tendril on any of her demons.
Disgusting pile of slime. I won't let you have them! I'll tear you to pieces first!
Threatening me, are you? So there's a bit of fight in you after all.
Claire screeched to a halt. Fear, confusion and panic swirled in her mind. That wasn't just a well-timed snappy insult. It could hear her thoughts and was talking back. Double fuck.
Come on, girl. You're not scared now, are you? You've fought me before, remember?
Scared? Of a misty ball of useless garbage like you? Never.
Liar. Its thoughts had a hint of a smile that time, taunting her.
Be assured I've planned for that.
She scowled and started to run again. Damn it. Not only was that mist able to take on other forms, but it could mess with her mind as well. She loathed that thing, hated it with her entire soul. She swore to herself she'd defeat it before anyone else got hurt.
I swear, if you even scratch any of them...
You'll do what? You are human, after all. What damage could you possibly inflict on me?
A nasty case of blue balls seems appropriate.
Oh, you wound me.
God, this creature was annoying! Sarcastic and callous, she wondered if mind games were another way it got its kicks. Probably. It seemed to being having a great time toying with her.
You're coming, aren't you? Your lovers are here waiting with me. For some reason, they don't seem too happy that I'm here.
What did you do to them?! Anger roared through her veins. If that thing hurt them, she'd go ballistic.
Nothing horrific, I assure you. I've just made sure they wouldn't be able to interfere.
For the first time, Claire actually growled to herself. Yes, I'm coming. Keep your damn pants on.
Not for long. The sooner you come, the sooner my pants come off.
Better hurry. I'm getting impatient.
Impatient? She snorted to herself. If there was anything more annoying than Lucifer forcing himself on her, it was that mist trying to push her around. A rare wicked smile crossed her lips. She slowed her pace, casually walking down the hall. She rested her lungs and legs for a bit, enjoying the feeling of the chilled air on her skin. She'd show that thing impatient.
You're taking quite long to get here. And I thought you were worried about your lovers.
I am, but I've decided to take my time. My turn to play. If you hurt any of them, I'll turn around and you can come find me yourself.
Silence followed, making her stomach twist. Her challenge might not be the best idea, but it the only ammunition she had. Drawing the mist out was the only way she could fight without getting Thaltos or the others caught in the cross-fire.
Come here. This time, the voice had taken on a sinister turn, much darker and malicious than before. She'd pissed it off now.
Maybe I enjoy the walk. She smiled. A little irritation can go a long way.
Get here, or I will come out there and carry you back myself.
Her stomach twisted tighter. It didn't care what kind of danger it put her or her lovers in. It wanted Claire and nothing else. Not a good sign.
God, you're annoying.
And you're simply delicious. Now come here so we can play.
I'll take my time, thank you. It will give me a moment to think of how to kill you.
Take any longer and your precious lovers may not make it out of this fight unscathed.
Her stomach completed its back flip. Her heart rate picked up and she began to question her method. Her challenge may do more harm than good. Still, it was all she could think of to draw that creature out. Swallowing, she turned on her heels and took a shaky step back down the hall.
Fine then. Goodbye. Hope you enjoy having your playtime with my three very angry demons.
Dark laughter rang through her mind, chilling her to the bone. Yes, indeed. You really wish to do this, then?
Walk away and leave you miserable? Hell, yes.
Very well. I'll drag you here myself.
She let out a sharp sigh of relief. Good. At least now she could get that thing away from her demons. All she needed now was a way to kill it.
A piercing cry shattered her thoughts. Spinning around, she watched as a slew of silver tendrils slither around the twisting corners of the hall. Her heart sank. It wasn't coming out to get her at all. That would be risking too much. It was simply going to drag her into her room without ever having to leave.
Annoyance spiked through her. No fair!
Who ever said I played fair?
I intend to have that, as well.
She scowled. The chorus to James Brown's 'Super Freak' came to mind. It certainly matched the circumstances.
Her thoughts shifted back to the silver tendrils. The crawled closer, seeping out from the shadows and oozing along the cold stone floor. She glared at them. Damn things. They'd pulled her through the window that last time, nearly wounding Darrow in the process. She hated them as much as she hated their master.
One tendril slither closer, its silky skin gently caressing her ankle. She screeched and jumped backwards to shake it off, seething. It continued forward, undeterred. Its brethren followed, crawling closer, reaching out to caress her flesh. She stumbled backwards, shaking them off as she continued down the hall.
Oh, hush. They're not going to hurt you.
And I can trust you how?
As if I'd ever mar that beautiful skin. Now stop fighting and come here like a good girl.
Jesus, that think was fucked up.
Call off your slimy henchmen and I will!
Very well. The tendrils receded, waiting patiently for a command. Now come.
Fine. She scowled. Bossy, aren't you?
Shaking off her earlier fear, Claire sucked in a deep breath and started back down the hall again. The tendrils remained, creeping backwards in time with her steps. They were watchers now, making sure she'd find her way back. If she didn't, they'd show her the way.
My dear, sweet girl. You haven't seen me bossy yet.
More dark laughter seeped into her mind. You'll discover that when I have you splayed across these beds.
Super freak, indeed. She smirked.
Hmmm? I hope you weren't talking about me.
And if I was?
Then I suppose a bit of punishment is in order, don't you think?
The threat stopped her in her tracks. A flashback of Darrow spanking her for tricking him flitted through her mind, making her shiver.
An enticing thought. Perhaps that could be a fitting style of punishment?
She glared at the tendrils, hellfire now in her eyes. Drawing on every ounce of strength she had, Claire managed to clamp her mouth and her mind shut. There! See how that thing likes it when she doesn't play.
No, no. the silent treatment won't work. You're still going to come here or I'll haul you down that corridor.
Fine. She scowled as she continued her walk.
Damn that creature. Its threats, while distant, were easy enough to fulfill. It was powerful, much more powerful than she'd imagined. Even Lucifer was intimidated by it. She saw the gleam of fear in his eyes when Kerion mentioned the mist had broken free. A tiny human like her would be nothing to it.
Much better. The tendrils waved at her as she walked, beckoning her forward. That's a good girl.
Stop. She looked away from the silvery threads, hating them as much as she hated the situation she'd gotten herself into.
Come now. Let's talk.
Us? As if we're a couple? She snorted.
What else would we be?
She laughed sarcastically in her mind. Oh, I don't know. Maybe acquaintances.
What more do you want?
Everything. She could hear the smile in its thoughts.
Why so talkative all of the sudden? You weren't this chatty when I was under your spell.
Ah, so inquisitive. My vaporous form didn't grant me a wide variety of movements. The voice you heard was the full extent of that form's ability to speak. This male body I've chosen is much more, shall we say, open when it comes to communicating.
Male body? Claire sighed. She should have known. It wanted her, desired her beyond logical comprehension. Of course it would pick a male body. What better way to beguile a hormonal eighteen-year-old girl? No doubt it was probably gorgeous and wholly enticing.
To see you? Not really.
Pity, because I'm so looking forward to seeing you.
She glared at the tendrils as if it could see her. I hate you.
Not for long.
She raised an eyebrow. Meaning?
You want to know my plan, then?
Might help me prepare for what's coming.
Another burst of malicious laughter rattled her soul.
I can tell you bits and pieces. I wonder if you're prepared for that...
I've dealt with three sexually voracious demons for months. You think I can't handle you? She smirked.
Is that a challenge, miss Harding? Very well.
* * *
She was tied to the four posts of the main bed, spread-eagled and gloriously naked. An impossibly beautiful young man, no older than twenty, with long snow-white hair, bright silver eyes and ashen skin, sat on one of the smaller beds, staring at her. The man was tall, even when sitting down, with strong arms and a muscled abdomen. He was dressed in nothing but black slacks, a perfect contrast to his pale skin. In his hand was a braided leather bullwhip which he stroked with long fingers, grinning at her maliciously.
The man stood, towering over her tiny frame. Gently, he dragged the end of the whip across her belly. She squirmed under his gaze and the feel of the soft leather tickling her skin. His grin widened, and he dragged the long strand of leather downward until it hung off the edge of the bed. Still smiling at her, he drew his hand forward and pressed the handle against her sex, making her jump.
"Sweet thing," he whispered. "I'll break you yet."
In one swift motion, he pulled back on the handle, dragging the entire length of the whip along her sex. She cried out, her back arching and her hands straining against her bonds. It was a delicious pleasure, one that sent sparks racing up her spine and shook her core. The man still grinned at her, watching her torture with gleeful malice. The tip of the whip brushed her clit, making her gasp as it pulled away.
"Again?" he questioned.
She turned away, biting her lip and closing her eyes.
"You'll never come if you don't ask."
Still, she refused to answer. The young man smirked and grunted a laugh.
"Have it your way. We'll see how much you can take."
Claire watched as a long tendril of sliver slid out from under the bed, curling up the intricately carved leg of the bed. It slithered across the bedding, slipping under her thigh and coming to rest between the cheeks of her ass. The silky flesh of the tendril was cool against her skin. She tensed, her eyes wide with shock and fear.
"Beg for me, or I'll make you." The young man slowly pulled the whip through his fingers.
Claire shook her head, biting her lip harder.
"Suit yourself." He grinned wider. "I'm going to enjoy this almost as much as you are."
The tendril moved, slipping between her ass cheeks. It inched forward, heading for the goldmine. It found its target quickly, sliding easily into her tight hole. She tensed again, her grey eyes nearly squeezing shut to dull the sensation. The tendril continued to wriggle forward, its squirming making her writhe against the sheets.
"You like that, don't you?" The young man sat down on the smaller bed, grinning at her.
She clamped her mouth shut, only letting tiny gasps and groans escape her throat.
He scowled. Standing, he strode over to her. He reached down sand plucked at her nipple with his long, delicate fingers. Her back arched further, another burst of pleasure rushing through her body.
"You can't keep this up forever. I'll break you here if I have to." He twisted her nipple lightly, making her whimper. The tendril moved deeper into her anus, making her gasp. Her toes curled involuntarily, though she fought against her restraints as hard as she could. He twisted her nipple again, making her groan.
"Come on," he growled through gritted teeth. "I want to hear you beg me."
Tears streamed down her cheeks. This was too much and not enough all at once. His fingers were magic and the tendril was wonderful, but the whip was heavenly. Her body craved it, begged for it. It she wasn't tied to this bed, she'd have grabbed it out of his hand and finished herself off. Only her heart kept her from breaking; her mind had melted away long ago.
Another twist of his fingers and her resolve cracked. She groaned loudly. Vaguely, she wondered if giving in just this once would really be that bad. She'd be far from a servant to that creature, and she'd finally have that pleasure her body craved so hungrily. She sighed inwardly. Fine, her body could win this time.
"Come on, Claire. Let me hear it."
He twisted her nipple harder, sending a spark of pain down her spine. The tendril slid deeper, massaging her flesh from the inside out. She gasped loudly, her resolve finally breaking under his touch.
"Stop!" she cried. "Please stop."
The young man smirked. "Good girl."
He pulled away, letting her relax a bit. The tendril retreated as well, slipping free from her anus and disappearing from view. Her body crashed into the bedding, her breathing ragged and uneven. She watched him walk over to the other bed, curiosity overwhelming her rationality. She closed her eyes and swallowed. Her heart rate slowly returning to normal.
She heard the whisper of leather on fabric, heard his footsteps as the young man retuned to the side of her bed. She opened her eyes to stare at him. He grinned down at her, stroking the bullwhip through his hand.
"Now, where were we...oh, yes!" His eyes turned vicious. "You were saying?"
She swallowed. "Please."
His perfect brows rose and inch. "Please what?"
She sighed. "The whip. Please."
His grin widened an inch. "Very good."
Again he pulled the whip down her belly and onto the bed. Again he pressed the handle of the whip against her sex. Again he dragged the entire length of the whip against her body, drawing out a low moan from the throat. Fire raced through her veins. Oh, yes! This is exactly what she needed. The tip grazed her clit, making her shiver.
"Again?" he cooed.
She nodded frantically.
He drew the whip down her belly and off the bed, pressing the handle against once more her sex. He leaned forward, pressing his icy lips to her own. She arched her back, melding her mouth to his as her breasts pressed against the cold flesh of his chest. He smiled through their kiss as he dragged the whip against her sex again, setting off a fresh batch of shivers through her body.
* * *
Claire stood completely still, staring down the cavernous hall with a lock of horrified shock. That image, that horrible, demented image, made her skin crawl. She grimaced at the tendrils, disgust slowly crawling into her veins.
Still curious? The smile was back again.
Don't tell me you're not intrigued.
She shook her head incredulously. Absolutely not!
I think you're lying.
Damn him. She scowled at the tendrils again. His comment only made her angry because it was partly true. The knowledge of it being the mist repulsed her beyond end. But the idea itself - the whips, the tendril, that kiss, it was all so...exciting. She clamped her thoughts closed, only letting the emotions flow free. She would never let that disgusting pile of swamp slime know he'd excited her. Never.
Still coming, Claire?
She sighed and continued her walk. Yeah, yeah. I'm coming.
Good. You're almost here. Just a little further and you and I can play.
Fucking freak of nature.
Nature! Rolls of dark laughter rattled through her skull. You think I was born from nature! Oh, you poor, sweet thing.
She stared at the tendrils, confused. What were you created from, then?
Ah, that is a simple answer. The souls that are sent here to the pits of the damned always feel anger or pain or hatred towards something. I am simply those emotions given life. Thoughts given form. Intentions given power.
She paused, flicking through her mental rolodex for a match. A poltergeist?
Smart girl. Yes...of sorts. Though I happen to be much more sinister than those simple pests. I also have much more salacious intentions.
Liar. Damn that smiling voice of his.
Oh, I intend to fully explore yours, my dear. Now come. You're so close. I can smell that delicious flesh of yours. Come, and we'll play.
She stopped at the mass of shadows that acted as the door to her room. The silver tendrils that had lead her here slowly disappeared into the wall of blackness, leaving her alone in the hall.
Claire swallowed loudly. She knew what was behind that wall: an evil, malicious mist disguised as a dark, delicious man. But her lovers were there also, held captive by that man because of her. She had to save them, even if it meant losing her sanity or her soul to that creature.
Taking a long breath, she closed her eyes and stepped forward, letting the warm, silky shadows loop lovingly around her wrists. They pulled her forward, beckoning her to enter, to see the demons she cared about. She sighed and nodded, letting them pull her through the dark and into the unknown.
* * *
I sit on one of the luxuriously soft beds, a sly smile plastered to my face. She's almost here, I can feel it. I'll have her soon enough, I just need to exercise what little patience I've got if I'm to have any chance of claiming her. Our little conversation was fun, though, as was showing her that tiny hint of my plans for her. Oh, her reaction was beautiful...