Halloween 2021 IF,  Interactive Fiction

Halloween I.F – “That Which Lingers” – Day 18

[ Please read the kickoff post before commenting! ] 

This section contains moderately mature content.

Webb prided themself on their witty repartee. Their cunning linguistic ability. Their capacity for shittalking in virtually any situation. It was quite embarrassing to find that the only thing they were capable of mumbling was: “Please don’t stop.”

They felt Ariadne’s lips move—a grin, maybe. But she seemed too eager to say anything in response, leaning in and pressing her mouth against the curve of Webb’s neck, letting out a little sigh as her teeth grazed Webb’s skin, stinging faintly, before sinking in.

It was every bit as good as Webb remembered it being. Better. Embarrassingly good. The sharp, sudden prick of Ariadne’s fangs, exhilarating in its own right, was followed by a swell and bloom of heat that rushed through Webb from head to toe, drawing an involuntary gasp out of them. Ariadne’s mouth was hot, her tongue dragging against Webb skin as she swallowed, and Webb bit down hard on their own lower lip to stifle a groan.

This part was heady, dizzying, in a masochistic sort of way—feeling pleasure seep in as they palpably experienced the sensation of something being taken from them, their lifeforce starting to ebb away. Their senses were heightened. They felt everything keenly—the scratch of the carpet under their palms, the heat of Ariadne’s body pressed against them—and every sound was loud, from the rustling of Ariadne’s hoodie to the crackling of the fire, the audible parting of Ariadne’s lips as she drew back briefly, her breath coming fast.

Webb clenched their hands briefly, then recklessly draped both arms around Ariadne, tugging her back down, tilting their head further to the side with a breathless noise. “Again,” they demanded in a low voice.

Ariadne let out a startled noise, hoarse and almost delirious. “Bite, again? I don’t, don’t need to—”

She bit again, a little higher up, a sharp nip followed by a deeper puncture. Webb let out a shaky gasp this time, their fingers rucking up the hem of Ariadne’s hoodie, clutching onto to her. She responded by sucking eagerly at their neck, moaning a little as she drank greedily, one of her hands framing Webb’s face, tangling in their hair. She was half on top of them now, braced on her knees and one elbow, nipping and nuzzling her way up until she nipped at the edge of Webb’s pointed ear.

Something absolutely short-circuited in Webb’s head and they made a noise they really hoped Ariadne wasn’t paying attention to.

Unfortunately, with her face pressed so closely against Webb’s, it seemed like she had heard it, which meant that Webb was forced to take drastic measures. When Ariadne tugged back with another breathless gasp, turning to stare at Webb and probably to ask them to explain their whimpers, Webb did the only sensible thing to stop her from speaking, sliding their hands up her back and tugging her down into a kiss.

It was a light kiss at first—they were both in a bit of a frenzy, but Webb didn’t want to wildly misread the mood and apply tongue where tongue was not wanted. Ariadne seemed startled for no more than a hot second, though, immediately easing into it and parting her lips more than willingly.

The kiss was hot and wet and fast and eager and messy. Webb felt teeth clack, and didn’t stop. Ariadne’s fangs caught briefly on Webb’s tongue piercing, and she retaliated by dragging her tongue against one of the rings in their lip. Her hands were rucking up Webb’s curls, tugging and petting. They felt a little pinch at the tip of their ear and bit at Ariadne’s lower lip, earning a pleased growl in return.

Somewhere around the time they were hauling Ariadne up to straddle their waist, their hands skating up her back and over her bare shoulderblades, Webb heard footsteps on the stairs. They weren’t altogether certain that alone was enough to get them to stop, but Ariadne clearly heard it as well, pausing to sit up slightly, her chest rising and falling rapidly. Her cheeks were flushed a bright, rosy pink, and she had blood smeared on her mouth all the way down her jaw.

She looked dazed and bright-eyed and a little feral, looking down at Webb with an expression that was surprised and delighted and faintly confused, and that was a little too much for Webb to handle—a thousand watts of someone frankly way too good for them.

Webb turned their head to look towards the entranceway as Faraday appeared at the top of the stairs, wearing his gaudy coat loosely as he towelled off his hair. He froze in place, eyebrows going way, way up.

“Oh,” he said politely. “By all means, don’t mind me, I was just. Passing through. Carry on.”

At the same time, Lore rematerialized halfway into one of the armchairs, their hands over their face. “I’m sorry Webb, I should have noticed him coming and stopped him, I was just, I got, um, distracted—”

Webb let their head fall heavily back against the floor, throwing an arm over their eyes and groaning. “I hate everyone in this room. I’m going to bed. Wait, give me all the Devil Cremes, and then I’m going to bed, with the cakes…”

“I’m sorry, Webb!” said beautiful, traitorous Ariadne, who was laughing so much that she could barely disentangle herself from where the two of them had gotten frenetically handsy on the rug. “Oh no, oh dear, you’re a mess, I’m a mess…”

“I’ll fetch you two some washcloths, shall I?” Faraday offered mildly, heading into the other room without waiting for a response. Webb groaned, sitting up and shuffling back to give themself space. They couldn’t quite see how much damage was done, but they felt a significant degree of stickiness from their mouth down to their collarbone. At least they made a frankly zealous effort to wear black.

Ariadne was eying them keenly, licking her teeth clean. “Are you sure you don’t want me to help you clean that up a little…?”

“No, no, I think it’s well and thoroughly crossed the weirdness event horizon…!” Webb protested. They tried to acknowledge Faraday as little as possible when he returned with the warm washcloths, though they did take theirs to start wiping down their mouth and neck. The wounds were already almost completely closed, though they’d likely bear the little pinprick marks for a couple days.

Faraday sank into an armchair opposite, idly patting Ariadne’s hair as she cleaned herself up as well. He looked infuriatingly amused. “You didn’t really need to put that many holes in them,” he told Ariadne fondly in a not-that-quiet aside.

“I’m sorry!” Ariadne wailed softly into her washcloth. “They tasted like, like macarons…”

“Macarons?!” Webb echoed, affronted.

“Like moist tres leches cake…”

No. Which is it? It can’t be both, those are nothing alike!” Webb demanded.

“… besides,” Ariadne told Faraday, ignoring Webb pointedly, though the color was still high in her cheeks, “Webb likes that sort of thing. Webb, you have a tongue piercing?”

Webb obligingly stuck their tongue all the way out, rolling their eyes. “Sure,” they drawled. “It’s because piercings are stainless steel, which is mostly iron. One day, I’ll cross paths with the fae that wronged me, and I’ll suck his dick off as punishment.”

Ariadne looked like she didn’t know whether to laugh or be horrified, and settled for doing both. Faraday raised one of his unnecessarily perfect eyebrows.

“I think it has to be cold iron, Webb.”

Webb shrugged. “Maybe regular steel is effective in close range. I’m willing to vengefully suck dick to find out.”

Lore chose that moment to ooze out of the ceiling like an enormous, precipitous droplet of condensation, dumping about a dozen pre-wrapped snack cakes into Webb’s lap.

“You should eat,” they advised Webb seriously. “After a blood donation.”

Webb gathered up as many of the cakes as they could, which meant shedding them in a haphazard candy trail back to the bedroom as they stalked away. Pausing to fling them all onto the bed, they realized that nobody had followed, let out a sigh, and dragged themself back to the door, draping themself dramatically against the doorframe.

Please,” they sighed. “I’m exhausted. Are you all coming, or what? It’s colder in here, and I demand to be the functionally platonic and utilitarian sandwich filling.”

The slightly worried expression on Ariadne’s face cleared up immediately, and she gave them a wide, toothy smile, rising to her feet and seizing Faraday’s hand. “Yes, yes,” she said. “We’re coming. It’s the least I can do, right?”

“It is,” Webb agreed, “the least you can do.”

They turned to find Lore watching with a little smile on their face, head tilted to the side. Before Webb could react, Lore leaned in and lightly brushed up against Webb, an ephemeral embrace.

“Get some rest,” they murmured. “I’ll keep an eye out for any danger, and keep the fire lit. I’ll wake you all in a few hours.”

Webb swallowed, their throat suddenly dry, and ducked their head. “Thanks,” they said roughly. “I owe you a lot.”

“It’s my pleasure to help,” Lore said softly. “It’s nice to feel… meaning.”

Meaning. That stuck in Webb’s head as they stripped down to their tank top and boxers, crawling under the heavy blankets that smelled nothing like home. They pulled them over their head and shivered, hearing Ariadne and Faraday moving around in the room as they dimmed the lights and moved to join them.

The thought of sharing a bed with them was foreign and terrifying, but, they were loath to admit, the idea of being alone tonight was even worse.

The blankets shifted, the room dark enough now that Webb—even with their enhanced vision—could only see in shades of gray. They felt Ariadne climb in first, wriggly and hot to the touch, now, after feeding; Faraday followed a bit more cautiously, giving Webb their space.

Webb immediately shoved their cold feet against him.

“Ah, fuck—” Faraday protested. “Webb.

There was a crinkle from the other side. “What is—is that a cake wrapper?” Ariadne complained.

“Shhh,” Webb murmured. “I’m trying to sleep.”

And despite everything—the strangeness, and the despair, and the discomfort of an unfamiliar bed curled up between two people that were already too familiar—Webb found that sleep claimed them quickly, swift and deep and relentless.

***

They dreamt, as always, of the hunt.

***

Morning, if it could even be called that, came far too quickly. They awoke feeling warm and secure and blissfully comfortable—only to find that they’d curled up in the crook of Faraday’s arm in their sleep, their head resting on his shoulder, face pressed into his hair. They jerked upright so quickly they almost smacked into Ariadne, who had been shaking their shoulder to wake them, and who let out a squeak.

“Oh! Sorry…” she whispered apologetically, her bright eyes almost glowing red in the dim light. “Lore says it’s time to get going if we want to make it to the Drawing Dead before it closes closer to dawn…”

“I also ordered pizza,” said the shadows at the foot of the bed, which made Webb jump before recognizing Lore’s soft, sibilant voice in the darkness. “Not, um, the healthiest breakfast, but the options are limited in terms of who’s willing to risk delivering out here at 3AM…”

Webb groaned, rubbing sleep from their eyes, and flopped heavily back onto the bed. They definitely had to get going… They had let themself relax enough that much of the night’s events and the looming threads had vanished from their mind for a bit, but now they had work to do.

[Please suggest or +1 an action in the comments.

As a reminder, it can be thoughts, words, deeds, or curiosities!]

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6 Comments

  • Prince Charming

    Look at the others. How do they look after sleeping?

    And enjoy the pizza. I hope it’s a really good one.

    Before you go, don’t forget to look if the Inquisitor has answered your message.

  • meredithakatz

    Eat your pizza. Try not to let the moment become awkward. Run down plans — What does Pax usually DO at the gambling hall, is he a dealer, server, does he bus tables? How can you approach and talk to him without drawing attention? Try not to think about how nice it felt to hold someone who you weren’t immediately going to ditch. Oops you’re thinking about it.

  • Purple Wizard Needs Fantasia (@Proxificent)

    “vengefully suck dick”

    I am dead. D E D dead.

    Well, humour related deaths aside, I suppose there’s really no point to pretending these people don’t mean something powerful to you anymore. Best to just chow down on some pizza and get ready to go clubbing. What do you know about demons? Are they that likely to amorally sell you out despite your prior relationship, or is that just vicious stereotyping? If it is I’m inclined to play it straight with them, assume good intentions.

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