8 Braving the Outside

A Succubus“ Blasphemy

From then on, I visited him every evening. I knew I was risking everything, that I'd already broken innumerable demonic protocols. But that warmth - it was a drug to me. The orgone was secondary now. Our sexual relations were ever delightful, but more delightful still were those gentle moments before and after. Were it not for them, the pain of our parting, the agony of being separated would have been too much for me.

Often now we talked together before sex. I'd grown curious about him, and of course he was curious about me. One night I was sitting on his bed, looking about his room. Since I'd started to visit him it'd become a little tidier, but it still had the appearance of a cave to me, or rather a prison.

"Are you here under arrest?" I suddenly asked.

He laughed. "I guess you could say that."

"What was your crime?" I asked eagerly. Such topics are of course always of interest to a demon.

"Just too sensitive, I guess," he said, shrugging. "If you can call that a crime."

"So you're too good a person?" I had no idea that humans had similar protocols to us in Hell!

He laughed louder that time. "Oh, no. No way. I'm not anything like a good person. It's just..." He inclined his head towards the tiny slit of a window which was all the basement had. "Out there is... well, you know that fear you have of being kissed?"

I nodded. I'd told him much about being a demon. He'd been a very good listener.

"If I go outside I have that fear running through me every single moment I'm out there."

"What are you afraid of? Demons?"

He chuckled. "Demons aren't scary. Well, not now, anyway." The sweetness of his smile melted me. "No. I'm scared of people."

"Ah." I thought I understood. Humans are, after all, capable of such a greater degree of evil than demons, since our own angelic ancestry prevents us from the most extreme examples of cruelty and sadism."

The jury murmured, uncomfortable.

"There is no need to veer off on a tangent about such unpleasant matters of ancient history, Miss Thermise," said Skelemis. "Please keep to the point."

"I will, Your Horror.

I turned to the human. "So you're your own gaoler?"

"Yes," he replied. "That's exactly it."

"So you wish to escape this place?"

"Well, it's not as easy as all that," he explained.

"What if I was to go with you?"

He blinked at me. "Go where? Outside?"

He looked panicked. I placed my hand on his. I knew that such a gesture was a calming one for humans. "Why not at night, when there are no other humans around? Humans are what you're afraid of, right?"

He shrugged. "Well, I used to go out during the night. But it's been a long time."

"I'll be there to protect you," I said. "From demons and humans."

He looked at me. The panic had left his eyes, but he remained unsure. "If you were with me, I think I might be able to. But just for a little while." He glanced up at the ceiling. "We'll have to sneak past my parents, though. They sleep pretty lightly."

"Oh, don't concern yourself about that," I said, taking his hand. "Are you ready?"

He swallowed. "What, right now?"

"If you get scared, we can come straight back."

"Okay," he said. He closed his eyes. "I think I'm ready."

It was a simple matter. With all the orgone I'd been harvesting from him, I'd grown in power. Lending the enchantment of phasing through objects to another was simplicity itself, now.

We passed though the wall and then rose up through the earth. With our feet hovering just above the ground I removed the enchantment. We grew solid again and landed with a jolt.

We were standing in the street outside his home.

"Can I open my eyes?" he asked.

"There was never any need to close them," I replied, amused.

He opened them. At the sight of the darkened street around us he grabbed hold of my arm and clung to me, looking about in alarm.

"It's okay," I said. His closeness was filling me with that strange warmth again and I covered him with a wing. The gesture seemed to calm him somewhat and he turned to me.

"I'm outside!"

"Yes," I said. "There's no one here. But even if there was, you'd be safe with me beside you."

He nodded and brought his body closer to mine.

"Let's go for a walk," I said.

"What if someone sees us?" he murmured.

"No one will see us," I said. "I've rendered us invisible."

I led him down the street. After a while his grip on me loosened. The streets were empty, the lights pooling their glow on the bare concrete. It was beautiful, in its way, the dark shapes of the homes and the buildings reminding me of our own forests of shadow. No one was awake. Only a few houses had lights still in them. I could sense the humans inside, giving off their gentle waves of orgone. There were the different flavours: the young, the old, the satiated, the hungry, the male, the female.

Silence, except for the padding of his feet and the clicking of my talons. This sleeping world was ours, belonged to just the two of us. And yet he remained nervous.

I placed my hand on his shoulder. Such a gesture, I thought, would calm him. He sighed and covered my hand with his own. Then he drew my hand down and entwined his fingers in mine.

I was startled, but allowed him to. Warmth suffused me, rising to my head so that I grew dizzy. So this was holding hands! The picture he'd drawn did not do it justice.

"Thank you, Hyacinth," he said. He drew closer and placed his head on my shoulder.

I thought I might burn up from the liquid fire that spread through me, then.

We didn't go far that night. I could sense the rapid beating of his heart whenever there was a noise or some movement out among the shadows of the city. After a while we returned to his home. That night our sex was even slower and gentler than usual. He'd been through a lot, after all.

And so it went every evening from then on. I'd take him outside and we would walk together. Often we talked, like we did before and after sex, but not always. At times the silence was just too beautiful, too precious. The warmth of his hand, that scent of his body that I knew so well, now, was enough. I enjoyed our little walks together very much. Were they what humans called a date, I wondered?"

Voreus broke in. "Your Horror, the prosecution seeks a definition for this word."

"If you would, Miss Thermise," asked Skelemis.

"Please allow me," said Abraxas suddenly. He had been silent for a long time. "A date is a preliminary encounter where two humans meet each other to ascertain whether they are suitable romantic matches. It usually involves attending places of entertainment or refreshment."

"Romantic?" Voreus returned to energetically scratching on her notepad.

"Like the little guy said," said Hyacinth. "Even then I knew such thoughts were foolish. After all, demons and humans are in no way compatible. And yet. And yet, I felt good being around this human. I sought his company, desired to have sex with him exclusively, enjoyed conversing with him. I also wished to protect him, to make him feel better. That was why I was here with him, after all. I wanted him to be happy. His happiness made me happy, happier than I'd ever been before. But then, of course, before I'd met him, I'd had no idea what happiness was.

At last a night came when we encountered another human on our walk.