Flirting with Sin Ch. 03
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IX – Brought to Heel
“How do you know God, Trevor? Ever met him? Ever spoke to him?”
Alice sat on the silken sheets of her bed in only her stockings and garter belt, a lit cigarette in her mouth.
I hesitated a moment. “No.”
“Yeah, I didn’t think so.” Alice flashed her jagged maw in a knowing smile, the cigarette held between her front teeth. “So where’s this unshaking holyman faith comin’ from?
“I’m talking to you,” I said, sighing. “You’re a demon. This is Inferno, or some miserable hole of it. So there must also be a Heaven.”
“But you don’t have any hard evidence, do ya? Just your faith.” The demoness slid across the bed toward me. She pushed out her chest to flaunt her breasts, supple and orange with slightly lighter nipples, and sat on her knees next to me. “Well, you don’t have to blindly believe in me, Trevor. I’m right here. I’m real.”
Alice grabbed my hand and pressed it against her breast, encouraged me with her movements to grab and knead it as she tried to rub her nipple against my palm. Her two tongues rolled out of her mouth and she sighed lustfully. “I can be the only god you need, Trevor. Just stay here, with me…”
I soon snatched my hand away and stood up from the bed.
“I can’t stay. I’ve already been here too long,” I grunted.
Alice pouted, folding her arms beneath her breasts. “I bet they beat your faith into you with a whip. I can do that too if ya want! I got a closet full of whips and chains!”
“I’m running out of time, Alice.” My patience was wearing thin.
“Oh alright, alright. Listen, you want my help with Alison? To keep the bad cat from ripping you in two like a helpless little mouse? I know some somebodies.” Alice puffed on her cigarette and pointed at my belt. “All you’ve got is that dinky little knife and your popgun, right? Those Churchies couldn’t have given you somethin’ like, I dunno, holy water?”
I pulled the rosary out of a pocket in my slacks. “I’ve got this. It’s been blessed.”
Alice recoiled at the sight of the cross and scrambled for a pillow to hide behind. “Put that thing away!” Terrified little murmurs escaped her mouth the longer I held the innocuous lump of metal in my hand. With a small smirk I turned and dangled it in front of me threateningly.
“That—that evil thing is a torture device, not a weapon! That’s something those bastard priests use to hurt innocent girls like me!” Alice complained from behind the safety of the pillow. “If I knew you had that I wouldn’t have let you in here!”
“Would it help if I turned it upside down?” I teased.
Alice glared death into me. “That’s not funny, Trevor! Stop it, ya big jerk! Right now!” Her voice quivered with an unmistakable fear despite how angry she was attempting to sound.
I slipped the rosary back into my pocket. The tension on Alice’s face dampened, albeit only a little. It was the same angry look she had given me before, standing beside a rundown building with a gun to her head.
I wondered if I should feel guilty.
Silence hung in the air as I threw my robes over my shoulders. Alice stared at me, fidgeting, until finally she breathed an exasperated sigh.
“You smoke?” she asked, uneasy.
The demoness sat up with her cigarette pack in hand and presented one to me. As I was about to take it, she snatched my wrist and pulled me closer, stuffing the butt between my lips. With my jaw in her clutches, she held me still as she pressed her lit cherry to the fag in my mouth and inhaled. I obediently puffed a couple of times to light mine.
Alice flashed me a toothy grin, her cig held between a bed of daggers.
“Like I was sayin’. I’ll help you, but ya gotta hear me out first, alright?” Alice said, her arms folded. She looked at the spot on the bed next to her. “Sit.”
I planted myself on the bed. From the window across the room I could see pillars of flame rising over the horizon, and the buildings surrounding us seemed to be sinking into the sand. The demon girl scooted next to me and wordlessly puffed at her cigarette. A low rumble of moaning voices, doubtless tortured souls begging for release, could be heard under the sound of Alice’s breath if I listened closely.
“What is it?” I asked, growing impatient.
She looked up at me and frowned before blowing smoke in my face.
“Don’t let her kill ya, dumbass!” Alice beat her fist into my shoulder, the touch of her skin hot enough to make me wince. “And don’t kill her either! You gotta promise me, right now, before I do anything. Capisce?”
I lowered my eyes at her. “What do you care?”
The little demoness puffed haughtily, smoke shooting from her nostrils. “Promise me!”
Shaking my head, I relented. “I’ll do what I have to. But if there’s any way I can see through this without more death, then…”
She smiled. “That the best I get? A wishy-washy non-answer? You really know the way to a woman’s heart, Trevor.” Alice leapt from the bed and made for canlı bahis the dresser. Her stripes formed a line down her spine. “Well come on, then. If you’re gonna beat the big bad kitty, you’re gonna need some new tricks.”
Ash fell over the twisted red-orange hills like rain. The potchmarks of broken pavement were lined with dead grey trees, their bare branches rustled by howling winds. Crimson sand stretched on forever in every direction, climbing hills of molten rock. The black void above threatened to swallow all into its featureless embrace. Yet despite the desolate, hopeless surroundings, Alice trotted next to me in a flowing black dress and sandals like we were on a pleasant stroll through a park.
“So this broad I know, she’ll tool you up real nice. A lotta Hell Knights come to her for armor and junk, and according to her the whole Revenant rocket thing was her idea,” Alice said, facing me and walking backwards.
The lilim grinned at me like I was meant to be impressed. Revenants are ruthless killing machines, decaying flesh and bone fitted into hellish machinery, a twisted abomination that exists to claim the lives of innocents. If this demon had any part in their creation, she was the architect of untold suffering. Seeing the perturbed look on my face, Alice grinned wider.
“But she don’t work for free. So whatever she does for you, it’ll be comin’ outta my pocket,” she was quick to add. “She doesn’t accept churchie money, Trevor. So unless you’re willing to part with whatever you got on ya—your weapons, your clothes, your immortal soul—that means you’re gonna owe me.”
Alice wiggled her eyebrows at me. I grunted. The little devil’s never going to let me go now that she has her claws in me.
The ear-piercing sound of metal banging on metal rang out from the distance. A great pillar of smoke climbed the horizon into the infinite blackness above. A small workshop sat in the crimson sands, a hut of black steel fenced by spears of sharpened bone jutting from the ground. An inhumanly tall figure banged a skull-shaped hammer against a red-hot glowing blade, sparks flying from the massive anvil with each ground-shaking strike.
Before the anvil stood high a woman with red skin dressed only in leathers and straps, her smithing tools clasped to her body. Her hair was long, raven black and greasy, and her face darkened with soot. Each of her limbs were as tree trunks, gnarled and muscular. Great black hooves kicked up sand as she turned to face us. I felt myself swallow.
“Don’t even think about it, Trevor. She’d break you in half.” Alice jabbed me with her elbow.
“Little imp!” the red woman called out, her soot-blackened lips curling into a wide smile. Her voice was deep and husky. “A long time, it has been! Where have you been hiding?”
She reached down and plucked Alice from the sand, pulled her into a one-armed hug. Beneath the demon’s muscular arm I heard a pop—Alice’s spine cracking.
“Let me go, ya big galoot!” Alice cried, grunting in pain. After a moment or two of struggle she wiggled free, mumbling curses. “I’m not little! You’re just freakin’ huge! And stop calling me an imp!”
The demon smith laughed into the back of her hand. “You didn’t get enough marrow when you were young! How did you expect to become large and strong? No, no, you sit in your little bosom of luxury and you flirt with human men rather than drink their blood like your ancestors did.” She turned her gaze, black and deep and lacking any iris, on me. “And what a tasty-smelling morsel you’ve brought with you. A gift, imp? Shall we drink of his lifeblood together?”
“No, no!” Alice shook her head, panicking. “I never liked the taste of unfiltered human blood, that’s all. Much too rich. Give it to me in a glass with some vodka like it’s a cranberry cocktail, sure, but I’m not the kinda girl to drink it straight from the tap.” She snapped her fingers and pointed at me. “Anyway. That’s besides the point. This is a Demon Hunter, Girty, and he needs some new kit.”
The demonic smithy folded her arms. “Help one of His holy lapdogs? I would sooner become a warlock’s concubine. Give me but one reason I should lift a finger for this insect.”
She glared death into me, a burning aura of hatred emanating from her body like did so many demons I had slain in the past. I paid it no mind; the work of a holy servant is bound to elicit the ire of devils.
Alice fidgeted. “Because—because he’s working for me!”
The smithy and I voiced our confusion in unison.
“Yeah! Trevor here is my mortal slave, see, and I got him spying on the Church for me. There’s some traitors hiding in the Church that I want him to take care of, and some human bastards who hurt a friend of mine. That’s where you come in—all he’s got are some dinky Church weapons. Can you help me?”
Alice had spat out her story so quickly that it left no room to question it. Just as well, it wasn’t too far from the real reason I was standing ankle deep bahis siteleri in bloodsoaked sand.
“Is that so?” The smithy questioned, tapping her index finger against her chin. “Is this the truth, mortal? Are you bound, body and soul, to the little imp?”
Alice flashed me a nervous smile and gave a shallow nod. The worry in her eyes was both a silent apology and a demand that I agree to her farce.
“Yes. Yes I am,” I spoke through grit teeth. It is a sin to lie, after all.
“Hmmm. Very well.” The smithy wasn’t buying it. “I am Giritholl, Hunter. Perhaps you have not heard of me, but you have no doubt met my work.”
“That’s right, Trevor. Girty’s blades have probably cut you more times than you can count before you even met her. She’s given you who knows how many vicarious ass-kickings,” Alice teased.
“Show me your tools, Hunter. One such as you must have many objects of binding and bloodletting. A reaper’s scythe, yes? Perhaps a jagged ritual blade for blood magic? An anointed bludgeon that cracks skulls and sunders souls?” Giritholl looked at me expectantly.
I reached into my robes and pulled out the dagger and the gun. The holy blade pulsed powerfully in the presence of the two demons, enough to make Alice wince, but the revolver was as ordinary as ever. Giritholl plucked the blade from my hand, held the handle between her large thumb and forefinger, and frowned.
“I am to believe this is the mighty weapon of a Hunter? It is an instrument for spreading jam and butter. No no, this will not do,” the smith remarked. She set the dagger down on the anvil. “It will require adjustment. Lengthening, sharpening, refitting…”
The demon smith took hammer in hand and came down on the dagger with frightening force—the noise was earsplitting.
“… But it is not so brittle that it will break. I can work with it,” she said, albeit I had a hard time hearing her over the ringing in my ears. She turned and plucked the revolver from my hand. “The gun too. Another barrel, more chambers. Hmmm, yes…”
Giritholl removed several tools from her straps and held them between her large fingers, her head darting back and forth around the anvil, examining the weapons. She snapped her fingers in her free hand and the forge roared to life, a torrent of flame billowing from its mouth. Without another word to us she sprung to work, thrusting the dagger into the fire.
“That blade is blessed. Are you sure you can work with it?” I shouted over the forge’s flaming breath.
The demon smithy scoffed. “Your holy butter knife is no threat to me. I shall bring it to heel and make of it a weapon far beyond His feeble blessings. You shall see.”
Alice looked bashful. “So, uh, what do I owe ya, Girty?”
At this, Giritholl spun on her hoof and grinned wide.
“For you, little imp, I require no payment. Your cause is noble. It is an honor to do my part in killing His pathetic thralls,” she said. Her black gaze turned to me. “But I am confused. Your mortal underling, he bears no mark, no soul binding. His eyes are his own. Is he truly your slave?”
“Well, uh, you see, it’s like this…”
Alice searched the sand for an answer. The demon smithy quickly grew impatient.
“I ask only one thing. Prove he is truly your mortal thrall. If he has offered you his soul, it should then be natural for him to offer you his body, yes? Do as your ancestors did. Drink of his blood.”
“O-oh. Just that, huh? Yeah, no prob. I can do that. C’mere, slave. Let’s… do this…” the lilim mumbled, looking at the ground.
Timidly Alice’s eyes wandered over to mine. She stiffened as she loosened my collar to get at my neck, her hands oddly cold and clammy. Baring her dagger-teeth, she froze as her gaze met mine.
“Are you alright with this?” she whispered to me. “I can fake it. I’ll bite my tongue…”
I shook my head. “It’s fine. I can handle it.”
The lilim nodded, cheeks flushed. Rows of razor-sharp teeth gingerly grazed my neck. She hesitated for several moments, running her tongues back and forth over my skin like she meant to tenderize it. She took a deep breath through her nose, then her teeth dove into my flesh.
Guttural noises rose from my throat. The symbols on my arm itched like crazy. As my life’s essence trickled into her mouth, hot air erupted from her nose and her cheeks were burning. Instinctively I grabbed a handful of her hair and grit my teeth.
The lilim swallowed a mouthful and then another. Her sweltering body pressed against me, little murmurs slipped from her lips when they weren’t pressed against my neck. A leech was pressed against my skin and sucking me dry.
I felt the strength leave my legs and faltered, leaning on her. Alice withdrew her teeth, gasping for air. She licked the wound she’d made, the heat of her tongues enough to stymie the bleeding. Her mouth and chin were absolutely slathered with blood.
“Trevor—I, I…” she managed between breaths. The red cores of her bahis şirketleri eyes were glowing bright. Her heart pounded against my chest.
Giritholl bellowed in a fit of laughter. “Very good! Are you not invigorated, little imp? Do you not feel the flood of his life filling you? This is all mortals are truly good for! This is why your line has produced you! Those that came before you supped their lives and were stronger for it!”
“Dammit Girty, he has to go back and kill things for me. He’s the one that needs some pep in his step,” the lilim said, glaring at her.
Alice licked the bite a few more times for good measure. I was lightheaded and my vision was hazy, but I could swear she was looking at me in a way that suggested something like worry.
“Oh, very well,” Giritholl sighed. She disappeared into her hut for a moment and returned holding a red fruit. “Take him inside and feed him this. He shall need to recover his strength, and I shall need time to forge a worthy weapon.”
Giritholl tossed the fruit into the air and Alice reached out to catch it—a pomegranate. Fruit well known in the Inferno for the power it holds in binding the souls of those who consume it. It had a side effect of promoting blood flow, but I had a feeling the demon smithy wasn’t concerned with her heart health.
Alice supported my weight as I limped into the hut. The obsidian walls were lined with swords, spears and jagged blades, demonic runes carved into their spines. I recognized a large cannon sitting in the corner—a wretched weapon used by inhuman monstrosities to fire globs of lava summoned from the depths of the lake of fire. ‘Mancubus,’ we called them, as they were the grotesque polar opposite of the sinfully alluring succubus.
The lilim sat me down on the hay bed and dug her black fingernails into the pomegranate. With a grunt and a few tugs she ripped the fruit open, spilling its seeds everywhere. She plucked the seeds from its flesh until she had a handful.
“Here, eat up.” Alice shoved the seeds in my face.
“I don’t need it,” I grunted. “I’ll be fine.”
Alice grabbed my jaw and pressed her fingers against my cheeks to open my mouth.
“Yeah, ya do! I drank a whole Trevor cocktail back there! Alison is gonna rip you to shreds if you face her like this. Eat the damn seeds!”
One by one she brought the seeds to my mouth, held between her fingertips, trying to shove them between my lips. I relented and let her feed me, too weak to resist. With each seed I felt the blood quicken in my veins until the haze over my head had vanished. Still, she wouldn’t be satisfied until she had fed me every seed that hadn’t fallen to the floor.
“I didn’t expect to be waited on by hellspawn today,” I said between being force-fed. “Are you sure you’re the master and I’m the slave?”
The lilim scowled and looked away. “I’m just tryin’ to fulfill my part of the bargain, Trevor. If you gotta run off and get skewered by that cat-bitch, well, I gotta make sure that happens, right? And you can’t do that if ya can’t walk, babe.”
I grabbed her wrist as she tried to force another seed in my mouth.
“This fruit is used by demons to bind mortals to Inferno. Are you that desperate to keep me around?”
“Oh please, Trevor,” Alice said, rolling her eyes, “that’s just some old superstition. If I wanted to keep you here, I have a few tricks up my sleeve—and they don’t involve the trick a made-up lord of the underworld used to keep his wife from running off. Watch.”
Alice slipped one of her tongues out of her mouth and extended it all the way to her fingers—a few inches, at least—and lapped it up into her jagged maw. She smiled at me, the corners of her mouth curling into an unnatural swirl, and winked.
“See? I ate one too. I wouldn’t lead poor little Trevor astray. You’re my precious mortal slave,” she giggled. “But you know, I think Girty was right. Your blood tastes real sweet, and if I didn’t stop myself I could’ve stood there and sucked you dry, choir boy. Does that scare you? To be at the mercy of a little hellion like me. What if I decided to finish the job right here? You’re still too weak to fight me off. What would you do, huh?”
The remaining blood in my body had flooded to my head. My forehead felt hot enough to fry an egg. The edge of my tongue was raw from biting it. Before I knew what I was doing, I pulled the lilim toward me to show the little spawn of Satan exactly how I intended to shut her up.
The demon’s lips were as hot as coals. Her spit sizzled against my tongue. The two writhing masses in her mouth were on the retreat this time, but I held her head still and forced my tongue down her throat. Alice’s breath was as hot as steam and as dizzying as smoke. The taste of my iron lingered in her maw.
“… right here?” Alice managed, gasping for breath.
I didn’t answer. I just invaded her mouth again to ensure she couldn’t speak. She struggled for breath between kisses, sighing into me and sucking at my breath. My hands wandered up the bottom of her dress, felt the searing heat of her legs and her waist, painful to the touch. She squirmed in delight, the red cores of her eyes staring damnation into me.
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