"Nah, this won't work."
Stephanie tossed yet another crumpled paper to the pile that had eventually formed in a corner of her study. For weeks she had been trying to add a new chapter to her life as well as to her most recent novel project. Her divorce had just become final, and according to her friends her ex- was already making plans to remarry. Her agent had also dumped her, for someone whose style he dubbed "literary chocolate." Her long-time infatuation with him made his leaving just as devastating as the divorce proceedings (probably even more so), and she hadn't been able to write for months now. Bereavement and frustration threatened to tear her apart at the seams. Then there was her class reunion tonight. "Sure, why not?" she thought; "after all, the only immediate plan I have is suicide."
As usual, she arrived early enough so she'd greet as few people as possible and then hide away in a corner with just her drink and her thoughts. As the night progressed and more and more of her former classmates arrived - with their artificial smiles and their bragging about salaries and titles - she realized that she hardly knew any of these people, and that she wanted to keep it that way. She stayed at her table, gladly unnoticed for most of the night.
Just around midnight, the most stunning red dress appeared at the door. A simple but exquisite sleeveless design with the skirt reaching just above the knees. The fabric had the shimmer of satin, but it was as sheer as silk, flowing like ocean waves with every step. The woman who wore it had long, waving curls almost as red as her dress, and the clearest baby-blue eyes. Stephanie was certain she'd never seen her before; she would have remembered someone with so much to envy... so she was puzzled when the lady in red walked straight toward her.
"Stephanie Blake?" the lady in red said as she sat down at the table. She had the most wonderful, mellifluous voice... it reminded her so much of...
"No way!! Corrine? Corrine Koenig?!" Corrine's only reply to Stephanie's shocked expression was the most pristine smile that Steph would ever see in that room.
"My god, I can't believe it!! I remember you - "
" - yes, I know, with braids, braces, and glasses. Please, don't remind me. You, on the other hand, haven't changed a bit."
"Sure I have. I've gotten shorter."
They laughed. For the first time in a long time, Stephanie laughed. "Oh, and I finally passed Creative Writing."
Corrine smiled that smile again, "Passed it? Please, don't be so modest. I've read your novels. Good luck with the Golden Dagger Awards."
"Forget it. King and Barker both have new ones out this summer. Maybe next year... if they take a sabbatical. I must confess, though, that I've only read one of yours..."
"Don't worry, I understand. Erotica isn't everyone's cup of tea..."
From cups of tea, to blood and guts everywhere, to other bodily fluids, they talked until the hotel staff cleaning up the convention room just about kicked them out. Then they went back to Corrine's place (or more accurately, Corrine's palace).
The front gate opened to a courtyard with a garden that you could get lost in.
"Come on, I think there's a pool in here somewhere," Corrine called out, and Stephanie followed her through the labyrinthine garden; the more she tried to remember the seemingly endless succession of turns, the more she lost track.
Corrine quickened her pace. Stephanie found that she had to walk even faster just to keep up. Corrine sprinted; Stephanie ran. Their playful laughter seemed to echo throughout the maze.
The shape of the pool looked to Stephanie like a teardrop; walking closer she noticed the red tiling at the bottom.
"Very original. From the air it must look like a giant drop of blood."
"Exactly," replied Corrine as she casually unzipped her dress. She tossed it aside and dived in. "Come on in, the water's great."
For a moment Stephanie felt an almost irresistible urge to jump in.
"Oh, no, I shouldn't. It's late, and I'm about to catch a cold..."
"Are you sure?"
"Yeah. Maybe some other time."
"Well, at least fix yourself a drink."
There was a bar at the edge of the clearing, and behind it, a pathway... leading straight to the house. Stephanie had to laugh.
"Once you're in the center," Corrine clarified once she followed Stephanie's gaze, "you can get to the house through there, but from the front gate, the maze is the only way in."
Stephanie wasn't surprised to find the bar stocked with the rarest liquors. "Do you want anything?" she offered.
"No, maybe later... after dinner."
Stephanie poured herself a glass of "La Reine Pedauque" and settled down on a lounge chair.
Meanwhile, Corrine swam lap after lap with the greatest of ease ("Wasn't she asthmatic as a child?"). She traced lines across the pool like a brush on a canvas, painting a blood-red tapestry of quiet passion. Stephanie was entranced; torn between the shame she felt for being aroused by the sight of a naked woman, and the sheer ecstasy of watching the poetry in motion that was Corrine's perfect body.
As if on cue, Corine came out of the pool, knelt down before Stephanie (who sat paralyzed watching her), and started unbuttoning her blouse.
"No, don't..." Stephanie complained, almost in a whisper.
"Why not?" Corrine whispered back.
And as hard as she tried, Stephanie couldn't think of a reason.
Before long, Corrine was caressing Stephanie's naked breasts and kissing her lips, pausing only long enough to brush her tongue across her nipples - gently, slowly... better than Tony ever could. Stephanie responded instantly, but Corrine was still biding her time, waiting for Stephanie's heart to quicken just enough... before sinking her teeth into her neck.
One orgasm after another rocked Stephanie's body over and over, stopping only when the loss of blood had made her too weak to move. Subconsciously she knew she was dying, but for some strange reason that didn't seem so important. She welcomed mortal death with a smile...
The pain of the Hunger jolted her back to life. Stephanie leapt from the bed and looked around, instinctively searching for something that would abate the Hunger. The fact that she was in a house she didn't recognize meant nothing to her. There was only this burning, stinging pain.
Suddenly, Corrine was at the door, apparently surprised to see her. "Awake, so soon?" She slashed her own wrist and offered it to Stephanie. There was no time to think about the horror of what she knew she had to do. No time... the Hunger... drink now, think later.
Corrine's blood was the sweetest drink she'd ever tasted - not even the gods could create a sweeter nectar. She couldn't stop. The Hunger wouldn't stop... Corrine almost had to pry her away. She smiled with satisfaction at her Childe as she licked her arm. "So... are you in the mood for dessert?"
design ©2001 by Cindy Rosenthal
Main Course ©2001 by Stygia
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