Demons of Desire (Half-Breed Series Book 1)(7)

By: Debra Dunbar

“What kind of demon are you?” Darci asked, her voice tremulous. “Are you killing humans? Causing war? Taking souls?”

“Sex. I’m half succubus.” I wasn’t about to kill again — never, ever again.

Darci’s shoulders relaxed, and she finally looked at me. “Why does that not surprise me?” The beginnings of a wry smile twitched at the edges of her lips. “If that’s all, then I guess we’re good. I can deal with a tree–healing elf and nympho demon. Basically you’re the same Amber I’ve known for the past three years, only with different labels.”

“Being a succubus isn’t one big happy porno.” I didn’t want Darci to make light of this. I wasn’t the same Amber she’d known for years. Even I wasn’t really sure what I was. “I have sex with people and take energy from them during the act.”

“Does it hurt?” Darci leaned forward, elbows on the table.

“No, but my partners are linked to me for the rest of their lives. Every time they have sex, or masturbate, or even get turned on, I get a hit of energy from them.”

Darci shrugged. “Doesn’t sound too bad. If it doesn’t hurt them, and they have a fun toss with you, then what’s so wrong about that?”

“I’m a parasite. That’s what’s wrong.

“Parasites kill their hosts.” A smiled played around my friend’s mouth. “I’m thinking this is more like a symbiotic relationship.”

“I may not kill my host, but it’s hardly symbiotic. That would mean my victims actually got an equal benefit out of the deal. A lifetime of obsession and me getting a free ride on their energy isn’t actually a benefit.”

Darci rolled her eyes. “Girl, if Zac Efron came waltzing through the doorway and gave me one night of mind–blowing passion, I wouldn’t say ‘no’. And trust me, I’d be thinking of him every time I did the deed for the rest of my life. He’d be welcome to any energy in exchange. Seriously, what makes you think these ‘victims’ don’t benefit?”

“Yeah, but how would you feel about a husband that saw another woman’s face every time you made love? One who constantly fantasized that he made love to me as he rocked the bed with you?”

Darci grimaced. “Okay. Point taken. That would suck big–time. So it’s all or nothing then? Every time you have sex, you leave the guy totally obsessed?”

“Yeah. But that’s only half the burden. I’ll never marry, never have a real relationship. I’ll never love. The moment I have sex with a guy, it all fizzles to nothing, and I never want to see him again.”

That was what troubled me about the whole circumstance of my birth. Yes, the predator thing was bothersome, but I’ll admit that, selfishly, the denial of any future with a life–partner hurt the worst. Darci extended a hand to pat mine and clasped my fingers tight. Her eyes were full of sympathy as they met mine.

“I love you. Maybe you’ll not have the white dress and picket fence, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have caring relationships. Redefine love, Amber. And stop freaking out about this. It’s who you are — you can’t change that. Find a way to live with it that’s acceptable.”

I was freaking out. I always did, except I usually buried it deep inside under a calm, composed exterior. What I didn’t understand was how Darci wasn’t freaking out even more so then her initial disbelief and brief anger. She’d watched me perform magic — something that defied all logic. I’d confessed things that should have put me in the hospital with an IV full of anti–psychotic drugs. All that, and she’d shrugged it off. I couldn’t ask for a better friend.

“Thanks.” I gripped her fingers back.

Darci released my hand to raise her beer in salute. She had that narrowed–eye look that she always got when she was up to something. I clinked glasses with her, wondering what my friend was plotting.

“So, this sex demon thing might not be so bad after all. I’ve got an idea.”

Uh oh. Darci with an idea was scary. The woman was an unstoppable force when she got something in her noggin. I should know — I had been her freshman roommate.

“You’re not happy about draining energy and creating an obsession in your partners, but what if you target only bad guys — you know, sociopaths, con–artists, rapists.”

I choked on my beer. “Jesus, Darci! I’m not making a naked version of a citizen’s arrest. What I do involves intimacy. I’m not having sex with sociopaths and rapists!”