Short Story : Please don’t feed the readers, yourself. NSFW

I realized suddenly that I never did get around to reposting the real life fan fiction pastiche I wrote based in part on Stormy Sto Helit, and a conversation that happened on a message board known only as, The Basement (howdy fellow PUTS)

Let me remedy that. NSFW. Or sweet dreams.

Due to deep personal beliefs in not creeping out your internet authors, I would like to assure you that this story in no way endorses a belief in torturing authors, and also, that any similarities to the author known as Stormy are completely coincidental.  Really. I promise.

Lena “Thunder” McMillan skipped into the hotel lobby. A four star hotel, real bellhops, red velvet carpets, it had everything she ever dreamed famous people having. There was even a table near the entrance covered in pastries. Grabbing a cheese danish, she started munching, then noticed a small sign tucked amongst the blueberry and apple fritters. White thick card stock with a gold filigree border, in dark letters and fancy font, “Welcome Thunder McMillan” danced across the surface. She reached out and stroked her name.

“Wow…”

The word escaped her mouth, half between a sigh and a whispered prayer. Shaking her head, reality snapped back, and the stars mostly left her eyes. She walked on to the front desk, more regally this time, with an attitude she felt befit a writer.

“No, an author!”, She thought proudly to herself.  

Stepping up to the front counter, light oak inlaid with teak stained a deep red brown, she put her ID and printed confirmation on the counter. A name plate carved from some mottled green stone proclaimed with a bronze plaque the blonde behind the desk to be “Tracy”.

With more bravado than she felt, suddenly wobbly again, faced with a person who likely had no clue who she was beyond another check in, she stated, “Lena McMillan. Room for one.”

The uniformed blonde, her hair and makeup as much a static mask of officialdom as her pressed blue pantsuit and starched collar, broke into a very unofficial squeal.

“Oh my gosh, YOU’RE THUNDER? I’m such a huge fan, my god. You have no clue how many favors I pulled to be working today, hoping I’d get to check you in!” She grabbed the paperwork, and started tapping away at a keyboard hidden under the desk. She looked around suddenly, and leaned over conspiratorially. Lena leaned closer, and Tracy whispered “I’ve got you upgraded a level, most I could do, but you’ve got a corner suite, so it gives you some more privacy, and a jacuzzi tub.”

Thunder stood in shock, mouth working, but no sound coming out. Finally, a squeak erupted, followed by broken syllables. “I… uhh.. you.. than… key.. you… ” She stopped, swallowed while closing her eyes momentarily, and started again. “Thank you!”

“Oh, my pleasure, anything for you. We were so happy to have you at the convention.”

Thunder looked around, suddenly realizing a lack that hadn’t occurred to her before. “Speaking of SerialCon, where is everyone?”

Tracy giggled. “Oh, SerialCon isn’t HERE. Management would never let them here, more’s the shame. It’s set up at the convention center, about half a mile down the street, closer to the airport. They’re putting the guests up in different hotels, for safety and privacy. My boyfriend is on the selection committee, so I pulled a string or three to get you here. We have a shuttle in the morning to the con for you though!” 

She leaned close again, a few stray golden wisps escaping her tightly coiffed hair. “So, you can tell me. Does Lars ever get to sleep with her?”

Thunder grinned. “That’s for me to know, and you to find out. She smiled, and tried her best to repeat the smooth lean in that Tracey had done earlier.  “In about a month.”

Tracy squealed again, and clapped excitedly, her face shining in rapture, before gathering herself again. She looked around to make sure her break in decorum hadn’t been noticed. “I knew it! By the way, several of us were wondering… well, we have a little reception set up for you tonight, and I was wondering if you would be willing to come by and do a reading for the hotel? Free drinks and snacks…”

Her face looked like a puppy begging for a snack. Thunder flushed with pleasure, her first direct interaction with a fan feeding her ego, and perhaps clouding her judgment a little. “Certainly! In fact, I finished up the next update on the plane. It doesn’t go up until Monday, but for such great fans, maybe.. a.. sneak… peek?”

She trailed off, as the puppy grin on Tracy’s face transformed to a look of wolfish hunger. Tracy’s eyes seemed to widen, to take in every aspect of her. The tone of her eyes seemed to see every line, yet still look through her as if she wasn’t really there, just meat on a plate. It reminded her uncomfortably of the first time she stripped naked for a boy. Suddenly, the spell was broken, and Tracy was the prim and proper front desk attendant again. 

“That would be wonderful! Anyways, here’s your keycard. You’re on the fifth floor, and if you need ANYTHING, dial 0 and I will attend to you personally.”

Thunder headed for the elevator, then detoured backwards, grabbing her bag by the pastry table where she had left it, and another cheese danish for good measure. The entire time, she tried her hardest not to look back at Tracy, ignoring the feeling on the back of her neck, like eyes were boring into her from behind. The feeling faded as she stepped into the elevator, finger stabbing repeatedly at five.

*********

The bubbles stopped abruptly. The surface of the water foamed and frothed, fine white bubbles popping, to join into larger bubbles with their neighbors, again and again, before finally popping into nothingness, leaving empty space behind. A hollow tube slowly came to view as the foam around it faded, yellow plastic an inch across, twitching slightly back and forth as steam rose from the water around it. As the foam started to fade away, leaving a filmy layer over the water, it rose suddenly, water cracking around it as a head broke the surface, the tube firmly clamped in its mouth.

Thunder sat up against the back of the roman tub, cracking her back against the porcelain and stretching a bare leg almost daintily out of the water, foam dripping from her heel and outstretched toes back into the water. “AAAAHHHH. Now THATS how to relax. ” Running a hand over her leg, she debated whether to shave or stave it off another day or two, when a sharp, authoritative rap on the door broke her reverie.

“Umm…. ONE MINUTE!”

She threw on a terrycloth robe that hung from a hook next to the tub, and padded through the bedroom and into the front room of the suite. She stopped for a moment and looked in the full length mirror by door to make sure nothing stuck out inappropriately, then cracked the door and stuck her head around it. “Yeeesss?”

A uniformed bellhop held out an envelope to her, starkly plain white in contrast to all the finery of the stationary she had seen here before. “Meal Tickets for you, Miss McMillan. Complements of the chef, you’ve been invited to join us in the dining room for a complimentary lunch. Chef Johan asked me to tell you that among our normal fare, he is serving bacon and cucumber sandwiches. ” As Thunder took the envelope, the arm snaked back and the bellhop again stood ramrod straight. “Is there anything else I can do for you, Miss McMillan?”

“N… no?”

“Very good. Then enjoy your rest, and thank you for staying with us.”

With that, the bellhop disappeared down the hall, and Thunder slowly shut the door. Opening the envelope, there were four tickets, labeled “Chef Invite”. Two stated they were for Dinner service, two for lunch or breakfast. There was also a handwritten note, on the back of one of the dinner tickets.

“Thunder, big fan, hope you join us for a meal or two while you are here. Johan.”

Staring at the tickets, Thunder weighed options. On one hand, free food is free food. On another, this was a fancy place. What would she wear? Would she be expected to make conversation with people? And… bacon and cucumber. Blech.

Twenty minutes later, she found herself walking into the lounge adjoining the hotel restaurant. A central table had been set up buffet style with platters and chafing dishes, silver and chrome against a verdant red tablecloth and red draped pillars, holding dishes at different heights. Several people crowded around the bar, a couple or two had claimed seating around the edge of the room, and an elderly woman dished up some unidentified gray substance onto a plate while reading from a small leather-bound book. Thunder watched a moment, amazed at her ability to accurately shovel one handed while not watching the motions of the spatula. Thunder walked up to the buffet, snagging a warm plate from the pile, and looked sideways at the old lady.

“Anything particularly good?”

Thunder watched in amazement as the withered woman aimed one eye at her for a moment, the other still glued to the page, moving across the lines. “It’s all good honey. Roberto cooks with the best of ideas, the cream of the crop, as it were. I’m a fan of his gravy, myself,” she said, waving with the spatula at the grey goo she was ladling over some small piece of meat. Looking at the sign, fine calligraphy on thick creamy stock, it was labeled “Caulfield’s Rye Gravy”.

“Personal stories are the best, the ideas they had as a child, distilled in essence. Roberto knows how to make it… sizzle.” 

With that, the old lady sniffed her plate, breaking eye contact with her book for the first time. The look of hunger that twisted the wrinkled old face shocked Thunder, but was gone before she was even sure what she was seeing. Her face turned wistful, as she looked up, directly into Thunder’s eyes. “But… old ideas, even presented in new ways, may sustain, but they do not nourish, don’t grow. You understand, don’t you?”

With, that, her eyes returned to her book and she shuffled off to sit by herself at a small table. Thunder started to put things on her plate, noticing the literary theme continuing in the names of dishes, with about as much creativity, or lack of it. She paused a moment over a platter of triangular sandwiches, pale green and dark red fillings peeking out. The platter was labeled Sally’s Cucumber Bacon Tricut’s. She shook her head, and moved to grab a Dharma Bun barbecue sandwich.

“Not going to have a Sally’s?”, a deep voice rumbled from behind. She jumped, and watched as food tumbled back onto her plate, mostly landing from where it had left. She whirled, to see a tall black man in a white uniform and chef hat.

“You must be… Roberto?”

The man chuckled, a not unpleasant laugh, though a bit throaty. “You’ve been talking to Adelle. She’s the only one that calls me Roberto. Chef Robert Johan.” With this, he stood ramrod straight and bowed, one hand at his breast, one behind his back. “And you are Thunder McMillan, an artist of some talent in satisfying hungers as well.” The man smiled, teeth shining as white as his uniform.

“Ahh, I uhh, that is, uhh.” Thunder stopped, closed her eyes, mentally counted to ten in Japanese, and opened her eyes back up. “Thank you Chef, for the kind words, and the sandwiches. Honestly though, they were something an ex of mine used to make all the time, and I needed a random food item for the character to love. I can’t stand them myself.”

Johan smacked his hand against his forehead with an audible thump, pushing his classic chef hat back from his forehead. “That explains it! No matter how I tried to codify the flavor, reading and rereading, condensing the ideas, it came through with a bit of bitterness.” 

He shook his head, a half smile on his face. “Ah well, they still sustain. ”

“I would think any bitterness would be too much salt.” Thunder looked at the chef questioningly. .

“The salt of tears, my dear. Every story has its flavor, if you but know how to present it. But, I hear that you might be giving us a reading later?” The hungry look she had seen previously on other faces that day crept across his as well, the feeling of being a piece of meat, being diced and prepared for others to eat, crept up her spine. She shivered involuntarily, not wanting to meet his eyes, but unable to break her gaze away from the blue orbs, black pupils boring into her skull.

Again, as fast as it appeared, the look faded, leaving a smiling chef, and Thunder wondering what was wrong with her. ” Per… perhaps. Anyways, I’m coming to the party later, I agreed to that much.”

“Good! I look forward to it. Well, I must continue cooking. So much to do. Enjoy your meal Thunder.”

She sat down at an empty booth, eating bits and pieces. She pulled out her phone, browsing Twitter, but soon forgot it. The food in her mouth was good, but not that good. Yet somehow each forkful drew her attention. Emotions, thoughts, ideas all drew themselves from her mind, danced around, and took a bow on her tongue. A forkful of Fabio’s angel hair pasta with cream sauce took her breath away and gave her a tingle between the legs that made her blush, then faded.  A second bite was interrupted mere moments from her lip as a swinging bin hit the edge of her phone where it jutted out into space, knocking it from the table.

The bin clattered to the table behind her with a crash, and the busboy holding it flushed and flustered. “I’m so sorry, I”

Thunder and the busboy both bent for the phone at the same time. Heads clonked, and both ricocheted up straight, hands on heads.  

They stared at each other, rubbing their heads, then broke out laughing together.  The bus boy bent down and retrieved the phone.

“Here you go, not a scratch.”  Thunder reached out to take the phone, her fingers brushing across his hand.  She involuntarily closed her hand over his, dragging her fingertips across him as she took the phone, enjoying the warmth for a moment.

The day of compliments and ego boosting worked their magic on her self confidence, and Thunder managed to meet a cute boy’s eyes and smile at him.

He smiled back.  “I’m such a clutz, so sorry, miss?”  He trailed off as she slipped the phone into her bra with a quick motion. She blushed slightly as his gaze followed the phone, lingering a moment before whipping back to her face.  She stuck the hand back out at him. 

 “I, I’m Lena.”  

“John. Again, so sorry…”  He took her hand gently, turning it sideways. For a moment her breath caught as she pictured him bringing her hand to his lips, but he changed his grip, pumping once in a handshake. 

“Don’t worry about it John. I’m just relaxing a bit before the reading party later.”

John made a face. “Oh, you’re here for the con.”  

Lena felt her face grow slack, and heard her voice grow cold. “Not a fan of books?”

John stood up straight, beet red blossoms on his cheeks, “I am, but, I, uh, sorry.  I didn’t mean to be offensive, but some people take it waaaay too seriously.  And half the hotel staff is going nuts over this Lightning woman.”

“Thunder, you mean?”

“Yeah, her.  I mean, she’s a writer, she’s making it big online, breaking all the rules, I get it.  But I’ve heard so much about how great she is, and Tracy, uhh, she’s at the front desk, goes on about how hot her uh, her sex scenes are.” He blushed even more. “Listening to her recount some of the things those characters get up to makes for an uncomfortable break.”

At this, Lena wondered if her own cheeks were blooming in red.  “So, you’ve never read her stuff?”

John shook his head.  “Naw.  I’m a fan of superhero stuff myself, or a good mystery.  You ever read Flyover City? That’s more my speed.“  He self consciously drug his hand through his hair, the precocious young man in trouble, thought Lena. “I’m sorry, though. Didn’t mean to insult. To each their own, right?”

His face was so earnest and guilty, Lena found herself warring inside. Something about his eyes made her stomach churn against the undigested literary fare.  Her normal awkwardness fought tooth and nail with her desire, and suddenly a stalemate was reached. 

“Well, ifyouwannamakeituptomeyoucangowithmetothereadinglater?”  She paused to catch a breath, counting to herself backwards from five in German.  “Uhh, I mean, if you aren’t busy?”

“Well, I, uhh. Hmm.“ His eyes took the quick tour south and back, returning to her eyes. “Sure, least I could do, give Thunder a chance, right? Want to get a bite to eat after? Maybe some dessert? There’s a great ice cream bar down the street.”

“Yeah, okay. That sounds like fun.“

John smiled wide, “Great, what room are you in?  I get off at seven thirty, I’ll change and come escort you to the reading!”

Lena told him, and he quickly grabbed his forgotten bin of dishes, and went back to work clearing tables. Watching him walk away, she took another bite of “Fabio” and thought to herself, “He can get off at seven thirty, then maybe at ten thirty, again at midnight, maybe the morning…”  Realizing her train of thought, she stood, shocked at herself, and, deciding she’d had enough for the moment, headed for the elevators towards her room. 

****

Settling into a large leather chair in her room, Lena tried to reread her chapter for the reading that night. She found herself rewriting it in her head, throwing the main characters together much faster than she’d planned. Somehow Lars kept transforming in his mind from his normal large chested, raven haired self to a skinny, awkward busboy. Her Kindle dropped to the floor, forgotten, as her fingers crept slowly beneath her shirt, into her shorts. Eyes closed, she found herself imagining his scent in her nose, his pale, shining blue eyes gazing into hers as his hands worked their magic on her body, their naked flesh warm against each other. Her breath caught as she slipped a finger between her lips, slowly teasing the quickly moistening flesh inside. 

Realizing what she was doing, her eyes opened briefly, and she saw herself in the mirror across the room. She turned her face into the side of the chair, and imagined her face pressed hard against his chest, her fingers at work slowly, then more quickly, her breath ragged.  She came once, and the Lars of her fantasy kissed her as she did, and she quickly worked her way to another orgasm.  Her breathing returned to normal, and instead of being keyed up, she found herself drowsy, and quickly drifted off to sleep. 

*****

Lena found herself sitting in a familiar place. Looking around, she quickly identified it as the cafeteria from her high school, not seen in person for nearly a decade. Minor differences stuck at the edge of her mind, but the oddest thing was her plate, piled high with slices and chunks of books. 

No, she corrected herself, the second oddest thing.  She looked around again, at the lack of color, the red tinge. “Sepia tone,” she mused aloud to herself. “This, Watson, must be a dream.”

“Quite correct!”  Lena turned to see Chef Johan standing straight as an arrow next to her, hands folded in front of him.  “Dreams are food for the soul, for the mind.”  He ladled something into a bowl in front of her, steam rising from the silver pot hanging from a handle in his other hand. “Eat, eat, you need your strength.“

She dug a spoon into the fog, and came up with an apple. A perfectly formed apple, the size of a grape. She looked at Johan for answers, and he smiled, his black teeth like a shadow against albino white skin.  “Why Thunder, you may actually have gathered the, gravity, of the situation. 

Lena’s attention was drawn to a slurping sound nearby. Turning again, she saw the old woman from earlier at a table like hers. In front of her, on the table, were several marble busts. Lena recognized Shakespeare and Plato, but not the other two.  The woman reached into the busts, drawing forth shimmering clouds one at a time. Some showed scenes of war, a floating tv screen. Others held faces, colors, scenery. One at a time the old woman slurped them up, and they spun through the air into her perfectly round mouth, shrinking away.  She looked Lena in the eye. 

“Delicious! Doesn’t get better than straight from the mind of the storyteller!” 

With that statement, gnarled white knuckles bunched together, knocking on the top of William’s head with a dull thud. 

Tap Tap Tap.  Tap Tap Tap.  Tap Thud Thud. Thud Thud Thud. 

Lena sat bolt upright, the tapping on marble changed to knocking on wood. 

“Lena, are you there? It’s John.”

She glanced over at the clock. 7:45.  She’d slept for a few hours. 

“Yeah, I’m here, umm, give me just a minute. She pulled her half asleep hand from her crotch where it still rested, shaking her head at her lack of control. She flung open her suitcase, and quickly changed her panties, picking a thong she’d packed, “just in case”. A quick wash of her hands, and she scooped her Kindle up from the ground, checking the charge before walking out the door. 

John smiled at her. “Thought maybe you’d changed your mind.” He nodded at the Kindle in her hand. “Going to get your e-reader signed?”

Lena smiled back.  “Something like that.  Shall we?”  

She made a hook of her arm, and thrilled at the sensation as he looped his own into it, and the pair walked towards the hotel conference room. 

*******

The conference room in question was jam packed, Lena could see through the open door.  Tracy stood outside the door, looking anxious. As they came closer and she spotted the pair, her face broke in a wide grin.  

“Finally! We were getting worried. John, thank you for escorting our guest of honor!”

John looked at Tracy in confusion, then at Lena, then back to Tracy.  Lena started to walk in, held back by an unmoving John. She slid her arm out and snagged his hand. 

“C’mon. You promised to listen, remember?”

He followed her, silent and glowering, as the audience cheered as she entered. A mixed crowd, young and old, every race she could think of, represented in a small smattering of people. John disengaged his hand, and stood in a corner of the room off to the side of the chair obviously set up for her. She gave him a smile and a wink. John folded his arms, obviously not pleased, but he allowed a small smile back to her. 

“Thank you all for coming. As you seem to know, I’m Lena “Thunder” McMillan. I’m here to read you the next update to Silicon Mind, in the 10 GOTO 20 series.”  She waited for the latest round of cheering to subside, and turned on her e-reader. 

“Sally held her blade steady.  “You expect me to believe that?  That Jack is part of this. He’s part of the Equinox?  Why the hell should I believe you?”

Stanley held his hand towards her, palm up. A bright red flash and familiar sound of a replication beam created a small transmitter in his hand. “Because I’m an officer, like you?  And I know what that computer chip in your head means for a lot of people.””

Lena looked around the room as she read. Everyone she’d seen today was there, from Tracy to the old lady, the chef, the bellhop.  They hung on every word. They hungered for it, she could see. She could almost feel their desire, a hot pulsing behind her eyes. It scared her, a little, but the need, that they needed HER, was ambrosia to her mind. She felt buoyed, empowered by the attention of the crowd. Too soon for her to bear, she reached the end of the file, what she had tapped away during the flight.  

Eyes closed, she continued the story.  The characters sang in her mind as they hadn’t since she had first crafted them. Dialogue flowed free, and she recited faster and faster.  Ideas came unbidden to the front of her mind, and she walked through plot points, added small easter eggs, and foreshadowed plot, all things she often added after the first write through. The feeling exhilarated her, and exhausted her. Eventually the flow of thought stopped. She wasn’t sure, but she thought she may have just recited the next month worth of story. 

The room remained silent, except a soft drip, drip sound. 

“Um, Lena?”  John’s voice broke through her reverie.  Her eyes opened, and she felt wetness on her hand. She looked down to see a small pool of blood on the screen of her Kindle, as two drops joined it, falling from her nose. She swooned, swaying back on her chair.  John was there, behind her, waiting, and caught her shoulders, held her upright.   One hand brushed across her temple, and she couldn’t see, but it felt like he was pulling hair slowly out of her head. The images swirling in her mind, the entirety of her impromptu writing, faded. She turned toward him and for a moment it looked like he put a finger in his mouth, before reaching into his pocket.

He held out tissue to her, which she took, wiping at the screen before pushing the paper to her nose. 

“Are you alright?”

“Yeah, I, um. Must be the altitude change.”

Lena looked again out at the crowd. Few were even paying attention to her, talking amongst themselves, or filling out. Many rubbed their temples smiling, in a way that oddly reminded her of someone rubbing their belly after a third trip to the buffet line. 

She pinched her nose and leaned her head back. 

“No, forward, not back. Don’t want to drink it!”  John tilted her head down, and his hand on her cheek thrilled her more than before. 

“I’ll be okay. Just give me a minute. So, what did you think?”  Lena was privately happy for the forward tilt, as it hid the blush on her face. 

“Well, I can see why Tracy loves it, you’re good. Just, you know, not my style. Not enough capes.”

Lena stole a glance upwards, happy to see him still smiling. “So, you still buying me ice cream?”

*****

John led her out a side entrance, and the wave of heat hit Lena like a wall. 

“Umm, is this place close?”

“Just across the street.”

“Good, because this is just unnatural. It should not be this hot at, what, almost midnight?”

“Hey, it’s cooler than earlier today. It’s, what, one ten? Um, in C that would be, let me think, minus thirty five, times five, divided by nine, forty one?”

Lena snorted in disgust. “What sane man lives in that temperature?”

“The kind that lives next to a twenty four hour ice cream shop. Here we are.”

They sat at a table near the window, watching the street.  Large trucks kept pulling through and turning down a side street down the road from them. 

“Going to the convention center,“ John explained. “final setup is tonight, deliveries of flyers and posters and merchandise, food, that kind of thing.   Give it an hour, and it’ll be dead and quiet.“

Lena licked the last of her ice cream from her spoon, conscious of a smear of chocolate syrup on her chin. “Well, what can I say, I need the quiet hours to create in this world of mine.”

“Well, I don’t think writing is considered blue collar, but I know the feeling.”

Lena leaned forward in her chair, elbow on table and head on knuckles. “Okay, cute, nerdy in your own way, willing to put up with me, AND you catch my obscure musical references. Any other amazing qualities I should know about?”

John smiled, mimicking her pose, and bringing his face a few inches from her. “Well, it’s been awhile, but I’ve been told I’m a great kisser.”  He leaned slowly towards her, and Lena’s lips puckered slightly in anticipation.  His tongue darted out and, catching her by surprise, licked the syrup from her chin, before catching her lips. They kissed, lightly, gently, then her lips parted and she stopped thinking for awhile. . 

“Hey, hey, no sucking face in my store. Get a room you two!”  

They broke apart, giggling. 

“He’s got a point, pda is gross. And I should get to sleep.  Walk me to my room?”

John looked her in the eyes for a moment.  She realized that her bottom lip was sucked into her mouth, and she was chewing on it.  She let it go as he smiled and stood, offering her a hand. She took it, flashes of story going through her head. Even as she stood, she felt her brain running, turning the whole encounter into a scene she could write later. 

He brushed his hand through her hair, and Lena’s mind emptied of everything but the feel of his lips kissing her just above the temples. 

John led her in through the same back entrance they left by. 

“If Tracy sees us coming in together, I’ll never hear the end of it.  She’s the jealous type.”

Lena punched him lightly in the shoulder with her free hand. “Ohh, hot commodity are you? She’d be jealous of me?”

Her breath caught as he lifted her arm and spun her, then took her fist in his other hand, leading her through an impromptu dance down the hallway. “No you silly thing, of me.  Tracy prefers the ladies. Reads straight porn, but prefers the ladies, never understood that myself.“

He stopped two-stepping her, pulling her against him for another kiss. 

A year later, she pulled slightly away. “Should we be making out in the hallway?”

“Not really.” 

“Then why have we stopped?”

“This is your room.“

Lena looked over his shoulder at the number. “So it is.”

She pushed him up against the door, fumbling for the key card while nibbling up his neck. One hand entwined in her hair, his other took hold of the card, fingers folding around hers, and together they guided the card into the slot. 

Lena repressed a momentary thought of a similar action happening shortly.  The door clicked and popped open behind John, the two of them falling inside. John recovered and stood, just saving them from sprawling on the floor together. They looked each other in the eye for a moment, and broke out together in laughter. The sound was broken as he pulled her to his lips. Her own parted, his tongue caressing hers. Her face flushed, and for a moment, all sense of self fled, her mind and body melting together into him. There was her, and there was him, and there was the kiss, and they were one. 

Then they again were two, breaking for air. 

“I, um. I mean. That is.”, Lena’s composure broke, the wave of confidence that had carried her since dinner evaporating suddenly in the heat of her desire. Once again she found herself timid, shy, withdrawn Lena.   “Do you want to, uhh, sit on the couch, or, umm?”  She looked at the bed, and back at him.

John smiled, and with a squeak of surprise from Lena, tucked an arm under her knees and swung her up against his chest. She clutched her arms around his neck as he turned and took the few steps remaining to the large hotel room bed. He set her down on the edge, her arms relaxing as his lips and tongue found her neck, working from one sensitive spot to another. 

His hands stroked her cheeks, then slowly walked their way down her body, resting finally on her hips. He paused, a question on his face as his fingers toyed with the hem of her shirt. She realized that she again had half her lip under her top teeth. She flushed, and answered him by lifting her arms up over her head. 

With a movement, her shirt was off, her body lifting in a wave as the fabric passed under her body with a whisper. 

“I.. I didn’t think you were that strong, carrying me like that.”  

“Lifting dishes all day, builds muscle.”

Her shirt tossed somewhere to the side, he took her hands in his, her arms still raised above her head.  He caught her by the wrists, holding her arms down for a moment as he leaned against her, and they fell backwards together to the bed.  She felt a moment of panic at being pinned down, excited and afraid at the same time. She writhed against the pressure for a moment, fighting to be free, then relaxed as his fingers ran down her wrists. They gently slid down her arms, across her shoulders, moving past and around her bra. His fingertips fairly glided as they moved down her sides, the caress raising a shiver up her spine, and a warmth between her legs. 

His hands ended their journey touching each other, thumbs and forefingers making a triangle around her navel. 

“You, on the other hand, are just as beautiful as I’d hoped.”

Lena blushed, her cheeks twisting in a goofy grin. The joke in her mind, something about the cheese in the line, died on her lips in a gasp. He lowered his face to her belly, tongue against her navel, lips nibbling around. She moaned as pleasure coursed through her body, hips rising to push her flesh harder against his face.  Hands and mouth worked their way back up her stomach, warmth of breath and tongue seeking each sensitive spot in turn. 

Her fingers twisted in his hair, her breath ragged.  Lena wasn’t quite sure how or when her bra came off, she only knew that she could feel his hot breath on a bare nipple.  She tensed, waiting, but he simply cupped the breast in one hand, lifting it slightly.  He brought his tongue to where breast met chest, and licked along the line. He dragged his tongue slowly inward in a spiral, just meeting the edge of her areola with a wiggle and flip of the tip of his tongue. He repeated the process with her other breast, looping just outside the most sensitive skin where it darkened. 

“God, stop teasing!”  Lena twisted her fingers into a better grip, jerking his head forward just an inch. A gasp of delight burst from her as her nipple slid into his warm, wet mouth. The sound quickly softened to a contented purr as he slowly played and stroked with her nipple.  Lena leaned her head forward, inhaling slowly the smell of him, his hair.  She vaguely considered asking him what shampoo he used, to smell so clean and so musky at the same time, but the thought faded as he cupped the first breast he had worked on with his free hand, rubbing the nipple with his thumb in time to the motions of his tongue on the other.  

Lost in the double sensation, she heard her zipper working before she felt it, and nimble fingers quickly popped the button on her shorts.  His fingers slipped between shorts and panties, and Lena arched her back, grinding against his hand. 

John slowly massaged her, fingers still outside her panties. The fabric grew warm and wet, her body quickly responding to his touch.  She gripped his hair tighter, grinding his head against her chest as fingers slipped under the elastic band of her underwear. 

Two fingers slid down along side either side of her lips, rough against the sparse hair.  John’s middle finger rimmed the opening slowly.  He coated it in her, moistening his finger before sliding it in and up against the roof of her vagina. .  

She clenched her body, face buried tightly against his head.  A fleeting thought ran through her head as his finger stroked inside her, “He’s better at that than I am…” before she stopped thinking of much at all and faded away into the sensation. 

His tongue and fingers moved in unison, stroking, rubbing, and licking each stroke together, up and down, in and out. Between moans she giggled, gasping out.  “Synchronized… Petting.  New… Olympic sport…“

Pressure built inside, already at a crescendo when his thumb slipped between her lips, pushing skin up to rest on her clitoris.  Moments later she convulsed, body floating and mind burning from the orgasm.  John sped his motions, and just as the first faded, another burst from her body, unable to draw breath, straining against him.  He slowed, and as she lay back, her fingers coming loose from his hair, raised himself up on the bed.  She twitched slightly as his fingers slid out of her, and he smiled as he brought them to his lips.  

“You taste wonderful.”  In her mind, Lars was saying similar. “Gods Lena”, she thought to herself. “Your being fucked the best you’ve ever been fucked by the cutest boy to ever see you naked, and you’re writing. What the…”

 His other hand twirled her hair about her temple, then pulled away suddenly. It felt like hair being pulled, but no pain, just a long sliding feeling, and all thoughts of Lars and writing slid from her mind. He brought that hand to his mouth as well.  “Just wonderful.”

“Did.. did you just eat my hair…aaaahhhh.”  The question died on her lips as he slid half off the bed, separating her legs and stroking his tongue down her slit. In  moment he had her hood rolled back, and was massaging her clitoris between his tongue and top lip.  Lena clutched at the sheets, subconsciously backing away from the stimulation overload, as John hauled her closer, arms encircling her thighs.  

Time forgotten, she drifted in a blur, one orgasm to the next. Self-consciously she felt a growing puddle under her ass, a small thread of terror in the back of her mind that he would drown after too long.  The sound of rustling from the bathroom caught her attention before she realized that she felt a cold breeze on her now uncovered and moist crotch.  She looked up to see John coming back from the bathroom, wearing nothing but a condom.  He wasn’t the largest she’d seen, but still a decent size.  Besides, she thought to herself, if he’s half as good with his cock as he is with his hands and mouth… 

She slid back in the bed, propping a pillow behind her, spreading her legs in what she hoped was a seductive manner.  “Get over here and fuck me.”

He smiled as he climbed into the bed, dick bobbing.  “It would be my pleasure” 

He teased her with it at first, rubbing himself up and down on her, easing in an inch, then back out. She made small noises of displeasure, and tried to slam forward against him, but he backed away just enough to prevent it.

“Gods damnit! Stop teasing me and fuckuckuck…”   He slid into her, her legs wrapping around his waist, hands on his shoulders. He didn’t jackhammer his way like other boys had, but started slow, working up a rhythm with her. Their bodies moved together, slowly speeding up.  As she luxuriated in the filling sensation, her mind wandered, rethinking scenes she’d written before, or had yet to write. Aspects of John and his lovemaking were sliced apart and became part of other characters.  She almost heard Sally in her head, “Thank you!  You better give Lars that tongue!”  

Writing evaporated as her muscles started to clench, her breath coming louder and more ragged in her own ear. They bucked against each other, and she could feel his cock spasming and twitching in her. He leaned into her, looking her dead in the eye, almost unnerving as she fought to hold his gaze and not simply throw her head back.  Then his eyes were closed, and he was groaning as she raked her fingernails into her shoulders, pulling him to her as her own body cried out. 

They lay there, panting for air.  Lena looked at him, and laughed slightly.  

“Wow.”

“Wow is right.”

“John?” 

He idly swirled a finger around her nipple for a moment.  “Yes Lena?”

“As beautiful as you hoped. Sounds like you were waiting for me. Are you secretly a stalker?  It’s okay if you are.“

“You’re the writer. What would the appropriately cheesy line be?”

She thought for a moment, and a line she’d already written before was perfect. 

“Of course I was waiting for you. I’ve always waited for you, I just didn’t know it.“

He smiled at her. “Oh no, I certainly knew it.”  He kissed her gently, idly tugging at her hair. The scene evaporated, and she focused again on the kiss.

She broke for air.  “John?”

“Yes Lena?”

“That thing you did earlier? Where you held my hands down?”

His smile furrowed.  “Sorry about that. Some women enjoy it, you didn’t, so I let go.”

She reached for him, stroking his cheek.  He turned into her hand, nuzzling and kissing her palm.  Women. She felt oddly happy he said women, and not girls. 

“Well, I think I might, if not surprised. Enjoy it, I mean. If you’re up for another go?”

Lena rolled over onto her belly, thinking of an ex’s favorite position. She hiked her ass in the air a little, spreading herself out. A moment later he was in her again, pressing deeper than before. She stretched her arms out in front of her, pressing palms against the headboard as he held her wrists together, forcing her harder against the bed with each thrust.  The panic returned, but faded, the inability to move worrying, but feeling certain that he would let go if she asked.  

He nibbled on her ear, and whispered to her. “The moment you aren’t comfortable, tell me.”

She nodded, stretching her body back against him with each thrust. Then he wrapped his legs around hers, and she was fully pinned. She struggled for a moment, then relaxed, letting him take control, and lost herself in him. 

*****

Lena slowly awoke, a smile on her face, darkness around her.  She felt her arms still stretched above her head, his hands still holding her wrists. His body still tight against her.  “We slept like this”, she thought. “That’s kinda”

Creeeeeaaaaak.

That’s….  not a good sound.  She quickly took stock, and realized that it wasn’t hands, but rope holding her wrist. Rope binding her body tight. 

Creeeeaaaaak.   

Rope around her ankles, holding her upside down. Rope creaking as her body swayed slowly in the air. 

“Awake?”

A light came on, weak, indistinct. John was lit in the center, naked.  “Good morning darling. Was it good for you?” 

He smiled obscenely as a tittering filled the air, as of many people stifling laughter. 

“What..  what is this?  Some kind of sick Misery thing?  You really are a fan, and hid it, and now you’re going to torture the end of the story out of me?”

John laughed, a disgusting, half human sound. “So far, and yet…”  He reached out to her head, she twisted away, but just ended up swaying more as he touched her temple.  A faint sucking sound, and the feeling of emptiness, and his hand came away holding… something.  Something red, and wriggling, a worm from her mind.  He dropped it, and her gaze followed it down, her head pivoting to an unnatural angle to see…  A sheen, a shimmer. Some liquid that the worm joined, melted into. The surface roiled, and resolved into a moment of time, a character she hadn’t named yet, but knew intimately, dying at the hands of the heroine.   “So close.”

“I… I haven’t even written that yet. How… What…”

John grabbed her cheek, his fingers rough and leathery. “Oh, no, you haven’t written it. But you’ve created it.”  He pulled her towards him, towards his lips. She puckered in horror, eyes clamped tight, as cold wet lumps touched her face, her cheek, her lips.  He laughed that dreadful laugh again, and sent her swinging away.  She could see a silver barrel beneath her, filling with red worms that held her, her essence. Drips of crimson came away from her body as she swung, joining the pool. 

Each swung brought John in and out of view, and each swing, he.. changed. His body grew gaunt, his fingers sharpened, elongated. His mouth stretched, warped, a sucker with teeth.  

“You’re stealing my story! You bastard! You could take my life, but you’re stealing my story.”

“Not stealing. Feeding. Eating quite well, in fact.“

“Ea..  what are you? What the fuck ARE you?”

“We are many things, dear one. Many things.”

“We?”

“We?”

Lights rose, and Lena could see many standing, sitting, around just outside the circle of light that held John and herself. John turned, and they rose to his motions, his swinging arms thick and lumpy in the wrong places. They were all human, yet not, wrong somehow, as John had become. Monstrous features aside, she quickly recognized Tracy, and Robert, the old woman, every staff and most guests she had seen. 

“When you humans first told stories, they were about us. Your darkest fears, your fevered dreams. Like you, but not like you, feeding from you, different enough to not only frighten, but terrify.“

He spun in place, facing her. A hand thrust at her face, fingers replaced by long, skeletal claws. 

“But you forgot us. Forgot us for new fears, new stories. We WERE the story, once, and to survive, we fed on your other stories. We went from drinking blood to drinking imagination. We encouraged your myth makers, poets. Fed from them, their creations, the energy made by a rapt audience, sharing in a temporary delusion. The creations of your very soul ours for the harvest.”

“For a time, it was enough, the dregs, the echoes of emotion. But from time to time, we require something a little…”

He clanked two gleaming claws together,  looking up, scanning the inside of his eyelids, searching for the right word.  His claws gnashed together with a sharp sound that made Thunder flinch away, causing her to sway slowly. 

The sound of creaking ropes broke his reverie, and he smiled then, a round mouth full of needle sharp teeth. The spires engorged his maw, shining stark and bone white in the small illumination that fell. His gaze traveled back down past his eyelids, and he hunched slightly, his eyes locked to hers. She tried to hold his gaze, but the same bright blue eyes that hours before had gazed at hers with animal hunger as they moved together, now gleamed with another hunger, more bestial, frightening, boring into her mind and soul. 

She felt his breath, clean, warm and fresh across her face, just like his hair had smelled. ‘That’s not right”, she thought.”It should be hot, fetid, smell like rotting meat.”   

“Something a little… fresher.” 

He reached out a claw, and she bit down hard to keep from screaming as it slid between ropes and sank into her breast. Her vision swam as he twisted the finger and pulled, and a torrent of red followed, collecting into the barrel below. 

The flow slowed to a drip, and Thunder caught her breath, her voice. 

“I’ll be missed.”

John slid his fingers down her naked belly, catching and ripping a piece of skin off in a long smooth peel. The pain screamed in her mind, red torrents coming down, though she knew she lost no blood, no true flesh. No true flesh, there was an idea.

John looked at it, as did she, a white gossamer cloud, holding faces, feelings, words and actions. “Hm, some short story. Not worth your time.”

He threw the scrap behind him in an offhand gesture, and two of the beasts around him snapped and snarled, fighting for it before ripping it in half between them, shoving the gobbets in their mouths. As it vanished in their maws, the ideas of the story vanished from her mind. 

“No, no you won’t. We’ve had millennia of practice, and modern tools just make it easier. Your twitter says you were turned back at the airport for documentation. You never made it to con. We run this building, everyone you’ve seen is one of us. “

“But, my story, my updates. “

“You live alone. Writers often do. And we have not the talent, the drive, but…”

Needle teeth pierced her ear, chewing.  Without control, scenes, dialogue burst into her mind, fading as they were sucked out the wound in her head. “But we have your story. Do not worry little one. Your story will update. It is worth so much more as food, shared with humanity. Each reader sends that much more attention and power to each morsel we devour.“

He pulled a piece of gossamer from her arm, chewing on it. “You have other stories in you as well. We could never write them as well as you, but we shall have the essence, the part that is in you. The fans will know the feel, even if the words are no longer as pretty.  Why, it took a second and third book before anyone found out Miss Andrews was already dead. And even then, we were already two of her ghostwriters. “

Even as fear and pain wracked her mind, she had to know one thing. The curiosity burned in her. 

“And why, earlier? Why the charade? Why…” She gulped, fighting gravity to swallow. “Why fuck me?”

John smiled, a human one, his face softening back to the one that had caressed her intimately earlier. “Even as your mind gibbers in fear, the writer in you questions.  No charade. I enjoyed you, as you enjoyed me. So much of writing is emotion, and by bringing you to that climax, no pun intended, of a great day, so much energy was released and bound in story.“

His face twisted back to the beast, and a hand punctured her stomach. Her vision swam in red lines, the pain causing her gut to twist around the four talons that raked down, opening her up, gobs of meat hanging over the bucket. 

“But great writing is pain. From pain comes growth, story, fear, anger, all the things we crave. So now, dear Thunder, we shall cause you pain, and you shall cause us joy. We’ve had lots of experience, with pain and story. First we bleed you dry. Then we shall strip your very soul from you. You will be with me a long, long time, Thunder.”

John took her face in his clawed hand, and looked her again in the eye. He kissed her, his scaly tongue worming around in her mouth, violating her, flicking through her flesh, revulsion filling her as it touched her brain, caressing the wrinkles and folds.  He pulled back, and his tongue left her, trailing dark red drops.   “Do scream, please. It adds poignancy to the tale.“

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