Evelyn Arlock has just caught the attention of a castle filled with succubus and incubus.
Just earlier that week, she had been behind on rent, couldn’t remember the last time she had made a sale, and the local mob was hounding her again. Now, after HE showed up at her bookstore, all that had changed.
She was about to encounter the demons of lust she was reading about in a very real and intimate way.
Dream of Lust
Gods, how long could a work day drag on, Evelyn thought as she stared out the shop window, watching all the passersby, none with the slightest of interest in her old dusty bookstore. The tradition of reading folktales and fanciful stories had all but been a dying pastime, and she had been the schmuck to jump all in on the waning industry.
She sighed and opened the front counter desk drawer she sat at, looking blankly at the one crisply folded paper that lay there. She picked it up and reread it for the hundredth time.
Deed of Purchase
The city of Alimos officially recognizes this bill of sale as proof of purchase of the business THE FORGOTTEN TOMES BOOKSTORE by one EVELYN ARLOCK, resident of the city of Alimos. All assets upon property sale, including BOOKS, are acquired by the Purchaser for the following agreed upon price: 110 strips of gold – Imperial stamped.
That had been her entire life’s savings. All of her hopes and dreams, summed up in a nice pouch of gold, traded for a small bookstore full of long neglected books. At the time, it had sounded like a dream come true to read and chat literature with other readers all day long while earning a living. That would have been the perfect existence. But in truth, the city, and from what she heard, the rest of the nation, was deeply in the midst of a technological golden age. Business and productivity had taken a firm chokehold on some of the more antiquated arts, and fewer people cared about star-crossed knights and maidens these days than ever before. And few people was an understatement. As far as she knew, she was the one holdout that still avidly read fiction from books anymore.
Not often was there in the history of Gaia a time of such growth and advancement, but she had been “blessed” to be born right at the start of a genuine zenith for humanity. In truth, she felt as though she had been born in the wrong era. There was nothing she could do about that other than bury her head in bygone books that spoke of a time and place where she felt she belonged. Places ancient, mystical, and bespeaking of a world long past where dragons, elves, fey creatures, and magic still existed in one confusing, messy ecosystem of wonder.
The hanging doorbell tinkled as someone entered the shop, nudging her from her thoughts.
A stack of books hid the visitor from view, giving her a moment to collect herself, put her store deed away, and work on her smile to at least play the role of a welcoming bookkeeper.
A man in a business suit stepped out from the shadow of a stack of towering books, and Evelyn’s demeanor instantly soured at the sight of the debt collector. She had been so far behind her tax payments that the city had assigned her an agent…he was more a regular than any of her customers at that point.
“Hi Bob,” she boorishly greeted, slumping her head into her hand as she pretended to be busy reading important book inventory documents that were scattered across the desk.
“It’s Robert, for the tenth time,” the man curtly corrected. “You’re late in paying the late fee, and by statutes of the law the city is increasing the minimum payments along with your accrued interest rate. This is the second deadline you’ve blatantly ignored, Miss Arlock. A third means seizure.”
“Seizure of the store?” she asked, worry creeping into her voice.
“That is to be determined based on what is owed…and you owe a lot at this point. I suggest you find the money to pay the minimum payment by next Monday, or I will be back with city orders,” he said as he tossed a sealed envelope onto the pile of documents scattered across her desk.
“You can’t do that!” she cried, dropping the busy act, rushing around the desk to grab his coat sleeve. “Please, this is all I’ve got! I spent years of savings on getting this place. I don’t know what I’d do if I had to sell it.”
The man gently tugged his sleeve from her grasp as he said, “Selling this place will soon be the least of your worries. Your debts are amounting to nearly the cost of the building itself. If you don’t get ahead of these payments, and soon, you’re going to be in debt beyond your ability to pay, and the system is not merciful towards those in insurmountable debt.”
He started towards the door with Evelyn close on his heels as she spouted a string of frantic questions. “Wait, how much do I owe? What if I can’t pay that by next week? Surely I can’t go to court over this–right?”
“Read the statement I placed on your desk. Or do as you always do when I bring them by, ignore them and negligently bury your head in those nonsensical fairy tales till reality comes crashing down upon you–and crash down on you it will, Miss Arlock, unless you get your act together. Start turning a coin with this old dump, and begin making those minimums. Good day.”
He once again tugged his sleeve from her grasp, and headed out the door, the bell jingling angrily as Evelyn made one last effort to keep the man there to plead her case. He was off in the bustle of the dusty city block before she could beg his help any further.
The paper delivery man bumped her, too busy to notice the bookstore worker he had run into. She retreated back to the line of storefronts, getting clear of the hustle of the afternoon. The city herald the man had just delivered lay on her neighbor’s store welcome mat. Without thinking, she snatched it up from the stoop, angry with the paperboy’s carelessness. She looked in her neighbor’s shop door briefly, just as the shopkeeper placed an eye on her, clearly seeing the newspaper she had scooped up from his doormat.
The thought to drop it where she stood had come to her, seeing how she had been caught in the act, but in a fit of desperation and frazzlement, she retreated back into her store instead. The doorbell hanging above the door jangled frantically as she entered, as if to call the alarm on the crime she had just committed.
She worriedly clutched her stolen goods for a moment, then thought how stupid she was acting. A stolen newspaper was the least of her worries. Let John come in there and take that newspaper from her if he wanted it that badly.
She retreated back to her shop desk, throwing the paper across her city statement. Might as well wait till tomorrow to open that statement. I’ve met my quota of depressive shit for the day, she thought, unrolling the paper, looking through some of the articles noncommittally.
“Demon in Chains…,” she mouthed, the title catching her attention. She had been reading a book about demons. Well, she was in the middle of reading a healthy number of books, mostly romance, but the demons book–it was different from her usual go-to reads. It was a bestiary on a specific type of demon: demons of lust–succubus and incubus. The subject was not only interesting but tantalizing as well. She had been more turned on by the historical accounting of the existence of the forgotten magical race than most of her actual romance books she loved to read. Just the thought of them…sent a wave of heat down her body. The things they were said to be capable of…she could fantasize about lust demons all day long, and night too.
“So, what’s ol’ Alimos got to say about demons?” she crooned, reading through the news block.
“Demon of sloth, a son of Belphegor, captured and interrogated with new truth bleeding tech…,” she mumbled, reading further through the piece. “…close to a breakthrough in the hunt for the bastion of demonkind.”
“Hmm,” she cooed, placing the paper down as she thought over the article, working through her feelings on the news. She didn’t like the sounds of it. Hardly any talk of demons or any of the old “enemies” of mankind were mentioned those days, mostly because they had done a thorough job of eradicating all but a few of them. To hear that the city had actually caught a demon and was interrogating it was saddening to her, as if it was an allegory for the way the old world was now completely powerless to mankind’s dominance, and soon all that would be left of the old world would-be myths and legends. She hoped that the demon escaped. That’d be a nice ending to the story, she thought.
She slowly finished the rest of the paper and rolled it back up. Patting it in her hand, she considered giving it back to John next door. She didn’t know why she had done it, but it was a scummy move, and she knew that if she didn’t return it, she’d be up all night on a guilt-induced streak of self-loathing. She gathered up her courage and walked out her shop door, going to place the paper back on the storefront doorstep.
She caught a glimpse into John’s shop and saw that he was busy with a few customers. She froze when she noticed that the men in John’s store weren’t customers but were members of the local mob.
She skittered away just as one turned to look back at the doorway. It was a close call. She didn’t think the mobster had gotten a good look at her, at least she hoped he hadn’t. She rushed inside her shop and closed the door, the bell ringing madly as she took out her shop key and locked up, flipping her open sign to closed. She doused the two store lamps and ran to hide behind her book desk and waited.
“Shit,” she cursed, looking at the newspaper she was still holding. “Damn it, John, and your dumb paper.” Looks like she would be up fretting over the paper after all. She deserved it for stealing it in the first place, she thought.
Large shadowy figures appeared in front of her shop, and the room went dark as the men blocked most of the light in the door window. A loud knock on the door startled her. She closed her eyes, hoping the men would magically vanish through sheer willpower. She jumped again as it was followed by a loud, impatient slam.
It had not been the first time the mob had harassed her in the past weeks. It had been a long time since she had been able to afford to pay their “safety insurance” and they were starting to get violent with her. She instinctively touched the side of her face where last they had struck her. The faded bruise on her cheek reminded her that she would not be able to put off these collectors as easily as she had done with Bob.
Another rapid set of pounding on the door startled her from her thoughts, and she shivered, huddled on the dirty carpet floor under her desk, reactionary tears of fear pouring down her face.
She cried when she could no longer handle stress. People had always teased her about that–made fun of her. They had said that it was normal for girls to cry, but not women, and to cry silently on top of that was just…weird. That’s all she was to everyone that knew her–out of place and odd. She thought about the mobsters outside banging on her door and considered letting them know they didn’t need to beat her up today, she was doing a great job of that all on her own.
She was apparently thinking so loudly that the mob had heard her as the banging at the door abruptly stopped and light filtered back into the dusty old shop as the figures left.
She wiped her face and tried to ignore her wet blouse, knowing there was nothing to be done about how wet she had made it. No one would notice, or care, she consoled herself. She wasn’t usually bothered or greeted by anyone on her route back to her house.
She laid the newspaper on top of the city notice, as if covering it could make it go away, and snatched up the book on demons as she crept to the front door. She waited ten minutes before gathering the courage to unlock and open it, peeking out into evening traffic.
No mobsters. Good.
She shut the door behind her, locking up for the day. She was closing early, but it didn’t matter. It wasn’t like she was going to get a customer an hour before closing anyways. There hadn’t been one all that day, and an extra hour wasn’t going to make the difference.
She clutched her book, Sons and Daughters of Asmodeus, and tried to hide the wet spots on the front of her blouse as she rushed, head down, through the bustling evening traffic. The streets on her side of town were quite scary, plenty of shady alleyways and questionable shops and loiterers. Not all of Alimos was like that, in fact, much of it was what outsiders called a gem of a city, but it was just her luck that she numbered among the few that called the slums her home.
She rounded the corner that led up to her apartment stack, passing under the burnt archway that no one had bothered to clean after the last fire that had marred the complex, and skipped up the dark steps that led to her room.
She produced her house key, clutching it and her book close to her as a drunkard swayed past her, falling down the hall stairs. She unlocked her door and slipped into her room before the inebriated man could think twice about her. She slumped to the floor and let out a sigh of relief. She was home.
The last rays of sunlight filtered through the dusty room. She didn’t have many possessions, other than books, and what she did own was proudly on display along her bookshelf by the large flowerpot beside the window. A modest jewelry box, a nice ink and quill set along with some fresh parchment, drying herbs and some jugs of wine all painted the picture of a modest abode. The orange tiger lilies in the corner of her room next to her bed helped a great deal to overpower the smell of smoked wood from the fire that had vacated the room next door to her. It was nice not to have a neighbor, but the smell had been horrendous after the accident.
She sat there, looking at herself in the cracked full-length mirror she had found on her way home one day. She had inadvertently put on a whole show for the people on the block as she had hauled the broken thing over her back up to her room. It was worth it though, the framing of the mirror was gorgeous, and while there was a crack right through the middle, she just ignored that part.
The woman in the reflection staring back at her looked a mess, and her ruffled, well-worn clothes bothered her so much that she stood up and discarded her outfit with more than a little suppressed resentment over how the day had gone.
She straightened her long, brown hair with her fingers while studying her face. Her skin was dusky, matching the well-tanned locals in the sunny region she was a native of. Her lips were full, with a natural dark hue to them. Her eyebrows were thick, though she had been told once, not unpleasantly so. Her figure was thin, not that she was proud about the fact. She simply had not been eating well of late, but even with her lack of nutrition, she felt some inherent pride as she traced a hand down her modestly rounded chest and hips. She thought she looked pleasing, and she supposed that was all that mattered since that was the only person she had been romantically involved with of late.
She stopped looking upon herself in the mirror and made her way across the worn rug, slumping down nude on the comfortable bed warmed by the evening sun, snuggling into her faded purple comforter. The room felt cozy to her, and despite its shortcomings, she loved it. She wished she could stay locked up in her room all day, every day, sprawled out on her bed, reading books. That…would be the life, she thought.
A bang on the door startled her from her daydream.
“Hey! You in? Rent was due two days ago,” a voice from the hallway called, Evelyn immediately recognizing the scratchy voice belonging to her landlord.
“I forgot to bring home pay today from the store. I’ll have it tomorrow. Promise!” she replied, trying to sound as sweet and ditsy about it as possible.
“Yeah, I’ve heard that one before. Have it tomorrow or I’m finding another renter,” the old man mumbled, walking off down the hallway, likely to bother other tenants who were just as behind as her on rent.
Thunder cracked across the sky, and what light there was left in the evening quickly was covered up by dark rolling clouds, rain starting to patter on her roughly made windowpane. She gazed aimlessly out the window, watching as water ran over the glass for a while as the rain fell harder outside, mesmerized by the beauty of such a simple thing as a rainstorm.
She shook her head, looking down to the book she still clutched close to her. She had a few hours to herself before bed, and she knew that instead of going out to get a meal like she should be doing, that she was going to simply read her book, lost in a perpetual daydream for hours until she fell asleep, exhausted. She didn’t have the money for supper anyways, and that thought made her feel less guilty about her choice.
“Enough of all that bullshit,” she murmured, waving away all the cares of the day and all the shit she had had to put up with. “I’ve earned a little me time.”
She sat up, propping herself against her headboard and cracked open the red book. She flipped through the yellowed pages, stopping on the section she had left off on earlier that day.
“Bond of Lust,” she mouthed, her eyes grazing over the page about the various types of contracts and bonds succubus and incubus supposedly entered into with humans.
Of the more rare and significant bonds the sons and daughters of Asmodeus proffer to the faithful sons of man, is a Bond of Lust. This contract holds strong consequences for both demon and man. Each must give one’s own sense of self-preservation over to the other. They must fulfill each other’s every desire and need. The bond provides the deepest form of sustenance for dayliths, allowing them to access new heights of demonic power. For the mortal, they receive a mental link with their bond and experience levels of physical pleasure only known to the select few who have been chosen as Bound. Some records suggest that Bound can even inherit traits of dayliths when the bond is strong enough. Some even speculate that this very bond can result in the conversion from human to demon if the bond is deep enough. Also, only through a bond can a mortal enter into the kingdom of demonkind, the realm of the seven devils. Without a bond, the very fabric of Hell is unsuitable for man or woman. Flesh is therefore stripped from the bones of the unbound upon entry, setting their spirit adrift along the river of souls.
“Wow. Quite the punishment for trespassing,” she commentated as she silently read the text, continuing on down the page.
Only a few are suitable for a Bond of Lust. Those that are found worthy, are often called to one another through an omen. A Dream of Lust will connect the two and lead them together soon thereafter.
“Well that’s sweet,” she smiled, distantly aware of how offbeat she was, reading a book about demons, naked in a rainstorm in a dark room, ogling over the tender bond between a human and a demon of Hell.
Breathing in deeply, Evelyn ran her fingers through her hair, gently massaging her scalp. Gods, she wished what she was reading could be true. Though, even if it were true, looking around at her very humble abode, she doubted that any self-respecting demon would want to have anything to do with the mess of a life she inhabited, but she could dream, couldn’t she?
Before long, she had read through more than half the tome, consuming all the lore she could about the dark creatures that the church had indelibly categorized as heretical and sinful, and soon the dim light of the moon and stars failed her as clouds covered most the sky once more, forcing her to take a rest late into the night. She fell asleep with the book in hand, snuggled in her covers.
For a time, she wondered if she was experiencing a waking dream, so drowsy, though conscious enough to continue fantasizing and romanticizing over the demonology. If it was a dream or just her imagination, she refused to question it, fearful that thinking too hard about it would cause it to vanish from her for good.
Visions danced in her head of both succubus and incubus caressing her, pleasuring her, and pouring themselves over her…and into her. They filled her with their essence, only inflaming her passion and desire for them all the more.
The two dayliths burned with the same aura of lust–the need for her fulfillment palpable. It was the best feeling she had ever felt. Their eyes, the same shade of pink, looking upon her with such desire and appreciation, she felt as though she was their whole existence. She felt wanted, needed…loved.
She drifted off into the dark of the night in a sea of lustful images pulsing through her mind, wantonly moaning as she sunk into her own personal dream of lust.
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Lands of Wanderlust Series
About the Author
Status: Here with my corgi writing fantasy fiction indefinitely.
Motive: Desire to escape to a fantasy world for a living!
Credentials: Have you read the Lands of Wanderlust books…? (psst, you should do that if you haven’t.)
Perks: Free coffee, free corgi pets, free to create endless magical stories and characters.
Current Project: Writing Book 4 in the Lands of Wanderlust series as well as a new fantasy romance story!