by Anne Tourney
Today we leap into Possession Week, celebrating the February 7 release of this new Black Lace anthology with delicious, demonic excerpts from novellas by Mathilde Madden, Madelynne Ellis, and yours truly. I was honored to be invited to contribute to this anthology of supernatural passion and transformation along with these diabolically gifted Black Lace authors. Both of these Lusties can often be found trafficking in intrigue and danger on the Dark Side, but for me, this voyage into the more subterranean areas of the psyche was a bit of a detour. After three light, contemporary erotic romances for Cheek, I was ready for something gritty, urban, more than a little crazy, where I could use the C word with all the abandon of my Black Lace/Alaine Hood days.
Falling Dancer is an urban fantasy, set in a city very much like the one where I live (minus the annual Stock Show) where the contemporary realities of addiction and mental illness take on a supernatural dimension. Kelda is an exorcist who moonlights as a bartender. With her history of alcoholism and drug abuse, she's no stranger to street life, or to the disgruntled fallen angels who take over the bodies of the lost, the addicted, and the desperate. The Fallen Ones are spirits who've been lingering in the material world for centuries. They long to enter the realm of the flesh, but first they have to identify a vulnerable human victim, and then they have to seize the body.
Kelda's calling is to set these possessed mortals free, and to return the tormented angels back to the world of the spirit. It's a harrowing job, and it leaves her very little energy to enjoy the pleasures of the flesh, herself. But when she meets Brendan, the brooding musician boyfriend of a ballet dancer who's mysteriously survived a suicidal jump from her high-rise apartment building, Kelda's interest in mortal entertainment is reignited. At the same time, she's powerfully attracted to Sander, the ER doctor whose clear, rational mind provides a haven for her psyche, just as his lean, strong body offers a respite for her flesh.
Amara is the Fallen One who takes possession of Lia's beautiful body as she's diving from the eleventh storey of her building. An angel who's been condemned for eons to the task of reuniting lost lovers, Amara bears a grudge as vast as the underworld and an appetite for the flesh to match. Kelda knows she's going to have a hell of a time performing the Release that will free the ballerina Lia from Amara's paranormal clutches. With the help of Brendan and Sander, and lots of erotic energy of her own, Kelda is going to attempt the exorcism of a lifetime. And have lots of juicy sex along the way, of course.
In this scene, the Fallen One Amara discovers the glories of having a human body on her first night as a mortal:
The new Amara tosses her hair, making the strands whip her cheeks and chest like a mass of silken snakes. The ballerina's innocence is already vanishing from her face-once pure, the blue eyes are darkening to violet. Soon they'll be nearly black, twin purple pits in the snowy heart of a stolen face. Everything the ballerina denied herself, Amara will grab with the greed of a thousand lost years. A soul that's been hovering for so long can never be fully fed. She touches her breasts, lifts their satin weight, touches the tips, which are small and pale as pearls. Under her fingers, the nipples darken and harden into dusky new buds. The flat silk surrounding them rises into scalloped rings.
Using her nails, her palms, her forearms, Amara paints sensations across her skin -- shivers, shudders, a deep electric throb. Desire used to haunt her like a shadow; now the ghost is coming to life again in stolen flesh.
Nestled between the tight outer wings of her cunt is a tiny knot. Touching it sends a tremor through Amara's body. She circles the kernel, rubs it, strokes it into stiffness. Faster. Faster. Her inner flesh unfolds. Wetness seeps down her thighs. She pants like a running jackal. With her other hand, she enters the hole at her cunt's heart, two fingers thrusting up and down in a simulated fuck. Her eyes widen in the mirror: two empty wells fill with wonder. This is what she's wanted forever; this is what the mortals give up their souls for. Something infinitesimally small, yet infinitely huge -- the ripple that crests in a wave of joy.
A harsh, guttural moan comes from Amara's mouth, peaking in a raw, trilling squeal as she rides her first climax. Her hips thrust forward, her spine arches. Her fingers curve into claws, arching over the back of the chair. She wants to rake her smooth belly until it bleeds -- pain, so harsh and pure, could only make this glory sweeter -- but even in the midst of her high, she knows better than to damage herself. Instead, she braces herself against the flimsy motel chair to keep from falling to the floor.
When the orgasm finally dies, Amara looks at her reflection again as she catches her breath. Her pupils, fully dilated, are black voids. The remains of a snarl twist her angelic mouth. She smiles at herself. The smile is triumphant. She owns the ballerina's body now; the possession is complete.
How can she ever get enough of this?
She will never, ever let this fleshform go.
Kelda rediscovers some fleshly delights, herself, when she hooks up with Sander, the ER doctor she's been lusting after for months. Sander has the hots for Kelda, too, but tonight he's just beginning to realize that she's not what she appears to be.
I'm pinned against the counter now, Sander's weight holding me firm against the tile. The muscles in his arms twitch as they brace my ribs, nerves sending me messages of their own. The stink of alcohol is gone, and I know now that it was a phantom stench, that in these past hallucinatory hours, he never drank a drop.
The Fallen Ones can do that -- intoxicate us with their wild, ephemeral substances, powerful as psychosis. In our struggle to figure out what's hijacked our brains, our senses step in with signals we can understand. The Fallen Ones wear our addictions like veils.
'It wasn't booze, Sander.'
'What are you talking about? I was plastered.'
I start to explain how the circuitry of a mortal brain can run haywire under the touch of a Fallen One, but he swallows my words with his mouth. Those lips, lips I always thought were a bit too thin, too hard in their refusal to express the inexplicable, are softer than I could have guessed when he kisses me. Molten tongue, gently insistent. Those healing hands clasping the back of my head, guiding my face in the rhythm of the kiss.
Something's in the room with us. Called up by my aborted ritual, and by the energy that Sander and I are making, it hovers in my kitchen. I smell the acrid, blood-bitter stench of its envy. I glance over Sander's shoulder as he turns my body and eases me against the counter, parting my robe with his hands. He hoists me up on the tile and pushes my thighs apart.
I watch the Fallen One rise and spill her poison across the ceiling; she, it's definitely a she, all female in her sick hunger. As I unbuckle Sander's belt, I'm sizing up her power. As I unzip his fly, I'm watching her summon everything she has. She's a tough one. Been floating for centuries, chewing a massive grudge. She almost got Sander, but he's mine tonight.
Fuck off. I'll deal with you later.
I mouth the words at the ceiling while Sander's face is hidden in the hollow between my neck and shoulder. The Fallen One curls into itself, like a stingray recoiling for attack. She spews putrid smoke, filling the room with the stench of the charnel house, but it's going to take more than a foul odor to stop what's going on between me and Sander.
I've got his cock in both hands now, clasping it between my palms. The shaft springs up, nudging the heel of my hand, seeking something darker and deeper. Sander starts breathing in sharp, rough gusts when I open my thighs for him. I grab his taut ass and pull him into me. His groan is gut-deep, rusty, and I'm so wet that he slides in without a hitch. We've both been deprived, and that bitch on the ceiling isn't getting any of what's mine.
'I can't believe this is finally happening,' Sander whispers.
I yank his shirt open and drag my nails down the hairless slope of his chest, watching him flinch as I scratch his nipples. His skin is humid, hot. His musky scent makes my cunt clench. Wearing his medical education like a superhero's shield, Sander thinks he's protected from my world. I'm about to take him to a place where those shields melt like cheap plastic toys.
He grabs my hips, tilting my pelvis so that he can ream me with deep, rhythmic thrusts. Each stroke hits me at my soft center, unthawing a part of me that had been frozen for months. The changes in his face -- slackening of the skeptical mouth, darkening of the tawny eyes -- arouse me more than anything else. Still fucking me, he bends to cover my breasts with greedy kisses. His teeth grind the darkened tips till I shriek, then he comes back up to devour my mouth. His thumb furrows through the same wet place that his cock is filling, finds my swollen clit, and applies a gentle pressure while his shaft turns me inside-out.
I moan. He grins when he feels me soften. He thinks he's got me. I'm not willing to be gotten so easily. So I show him. I unlatch the door that's been closed for so long, and let him see what's behind Door Number One. Here's your prize, Sander. A riot of ghosts and fallen angels, hovering in a milky netherland, waiting for their lucky break. Souls torn apart by what they want.
Why do the things we want the most destroy us? Ask any one of these entities; they've been fighting with that question for eons.
I hope you'll read more . . . and enjoy this road trip to the Dark Side with me.
Possession will be released on February 7, 2008 in the UK and on April 1, 2008 in the US. Order your copy today!
One more announcement: the Hand of Fate (or rather, the hand of my demonic six-toed Siamese cat) has chosen rlr260 as the winner of a copy of my erotic romance Lying in Mid-Air. Please send the lustbitesladies (you already know where to find us!) your snail-mail address to claim your prize, if you're not too scared of my kitty, that is.
Photo credits: Dark ballerina from Exploredance.com; funky tattooed demon from Cuttingedge.org; sexy urban stencil from Globalgraphica.com; Vin Diesel (as Riddick) straight from heaven to your eyes, baby.
From Mathilde Madden
We're giving away copies of Possession all week. Just leave a comment here.
And drop by on Weds and Fri to hear about the other stories and the book and grab a second and third chance to win