WARNING: This chapter contains strong sexual content, nudity, and strong language.
One good thing about being a stripper is that I never have to set an alarm clock. My days start late at night and go well into the morning sometimes. The latest I’ve ever had to work was three in the morning. But I’m more of a night owl anyway.
When I awake, my joints are stiff. I’ve slept too long in one awkward position, though it felt like I was tossing and turning all night. I’m still filled with a sense of lethargy as I stumble into the bathroom to perform my morning ablutions.
I turn on the faucet and am rewarded with lukewarm water. I was lucky to have a hot bath last night; the pipes in this building are as shitty as the landlord and his son.
I cringe once more at the memory of last night. I don’t have to work tonight, so the day is mine. And I’m going to spend it preparing the spell.
There’s a way to bring my sister back to life. Ebony was wrongfully murdered, and I’m going to bring her back. It’s a very powerful spell, one that few witches have been able to successfully complete. It’s also dangerous and the consequences can be dire if the spell isn’t performed correctly.
But I know that I have the ability, and the determination, to pull it off. The Brewsters have long been some of the more powerful witches in history. I owe it to my younger sister to resurrect her. It’s my duty as her older sister to protect her. I failed her once, but I will not fail again.
The biggest problem I face is lack of room. This apartment is so tiny. In order to complete the spell, I require special ingredients, such as a death flower, oil of a death fish, something containing the person’s DNA (in my case, hair from her hairbrush), a moonstone, and the blood of a relative. I have almost all of the required ingredients thanks to my grandmother’s collections (she’s the one who taught me everything I know about magic) apart from the moonstone. And I must wait to obtain it.
In addition to the ingredients, the ritual also requires a sacrificial star circle (most commonly referred to as a pentagram). I have to pour grains of sand into the shape of a star, place the ingredients on each point of the star, and recite an incantation to call forth Ebony’s spirit. The star requires a great deal of space, and that’s one thing I’m severely lacking in this apartment. Plus, the ritual can only take place on the night of a full moon, which is why the moonstone is necessary.
And that’s only the first part of the spell. This will bring the soul back to life, but not the physical body. In order to accomplish that, Ebony will have to drink an elixir created from ambrosia and life fruit. Her soul and body will combine into one on the sacrificial star.
And then, at last, I’ll have my sister back.
I can’t help but grin at the prospect. When Ebony is back with me, we’ll be a family again. We were all each other ever had after our mother and father both went crazy. I don’t talk to either of them now, nor do I have any desire to. They fucked up their own lives and I won’t be a part of it. If that makes me a hypocrite considering what I do to make a living, then so be it. At least I’m not an alcoholic, and at least I don’t go chasing after someone else when my current partner has a problem (though I’m single).
I return to my bedroom and throw some clothes on, not paying much attention to what I grab. My ingredients for the spell are still safely locked away in the same trunk that holds my grimoire. I withdraw the book and place it on the stand against the wall. I thumb through the pages, though I don’t know why. I’ve recited the incantation in my mind for so long that I know it by heart. It’s just taken me this long to gather all the necessary ingredients, since my grandmother’s supply was limited (but still vastly helpful).
My sister’s body was never recovered, but I intend to use this to my advantage. Had she been identified and confirmed dead, anyone seeing her walking around would undoubtedly go mad. But this way, we can easily cover up her presence with the fact that she somehow miraculously survived that horrific fire.
As I continue to skim through the pages, I hear a loud noise outside. It literally makes me jump about a foot in the air.
“What the hell?” I say aloud. I quickly stash the grimoire back into its secret hiding place and move hastily toward the door. I look through the peephole, but I don’t see anything. Opening the door somewhat tentatively, I step into the hallway. The door to the apartment across the hall is closed, but various objects like coolers and tables lay scattered about.
Then I remember – Abel told me last night that someone was moving in today. I’ve been so preoccupied with my own life that I forgot all about it.
I step closer to the door, curious as to who the new tenant is, and hoping, somewhat guiltily, that it’s a sexy young woman for Abel to lust after instead of me.
As I creep closer, my foot suddenly catches on something. I tumble to the ground, unable to contain a “Fuck!” coming from my mouth.
As I lay sprawled across the ancient carpet, I look at my feet to see what my assailant is. It turns out to be a barbell. Why the hell is that in the middle of the hallway?
“Are you all right?” a voice heavy with an accent inquires. I heard the door open, but now it closes shut again. The doors in this place suck – they never stay open.
I look up angrily, ready to chew the voice’s owner a new asshole...
...and find myself drowning in eyes of brown. The new tenant is sexy all right, but definitely not a female.
Tan skin seems to emanate a glow, and I know I’m not imagining things when I see what appear to be muscles bulging under this guy’s shirt. He has somewhat of a boyish haircut, but I can tell that he’s all man. His face is sculpted around those deep brown eyes, and I detect a slight smirk on his lips. But not the kind of smirk that means he’s arrogant; the kind of smirk that means he finds it amusing that his neighbor across the hall has seemingly literally fallen for him.
Which is so far from the truth. I’m merely over here just to find out who’s shacking up across the hall from me. If it’s some creep, I’ll have to take care of him.
“I...I’m fine,” I stammer, suddenly inarticulate. “I just tripped.”
“I’m so sorry,” he continues in that irresistible accent. Is it British? Possibly. Or maybe southern. I don’t know, I’m too focused on his appearance rather than his voice (which just adds to this picture-perfect specimen of mankind).
When he bends down to help me up, I nonchalantly hold onto one of his bulging arms for support. No wonder this guy has a barbell – he undeniably works out.
“So, you’re the new tenant,” I say, then realize how asinine that sounds. Of course this guy’s the new tenant; what else would he be doing here?
The guy just smiles and says once again in that accent I can’t quite place, “Yeah, just got here earlier this morning. You must be one of my new neighbors.”
“Yeah, I live across the hall. I’m Lydia. Lydia Brewster.”
“Dominic Taylor. Nice to meet you, Lydia.”
“I have to ask, where are you from? I can’t quite pinpoint your accent.”
“A lot of people can’t. I’ve got two types of blood in me, both of which have accents. I’m half British, half Australian.”
Australian! That’s the other part of his accent that I was unable to depict. I don’t know how I missed that; I spent a lot of my younger years watching Crocodile Dundee, even if it was made before my time. My parents were big on “the classics” – they watched their favorite movies over and over when Ebony and I weren’t watching one of our Disney VHS tapes.
“I see,” I reply. “Well, I guess I should say welcome to the building.”
“Thanks. I feel pretty welcome already. But don’t get too attached to me; I’m not staying here long.”
“Nah, I just need a place to stay until my paperwork comes through.”
“My grandparents left me their big estate just outside town. I can’t legally live there until all the proper paperwork is filed. But I sure as hell wasn’t going to wait around and stay in some hotel. I’m ready. Most of my stuff is already at that place; I’m keeping the junky stuff here, except for a few select items, and I told the landlord whatever I leave in this room once I’m gone is his.”
“Oh, well, good for you.”
I wish I could be that lucky. But I don’t say anything, not wanting to sully this guy’s mood.
Suddenly, my cell phone rings. I excuse myself, furrowing my brow into a discontent grimace as I see that it’s work calling.
“Hello?” I ask, hopefully inaudibly as Dominic continues to haul boxes into his apartment.
“Lydia,” my boss, Carter, says. “I need you to fill in for Jasmine tonight. She called in sick.”
“I’m about to fire her slutty ass. If she’d stop fucking every client, she wouldn’t be sick. I still say she’s got every STD in the book.”
“Carter, I kind of have plans tonight...”
“Bullshit, girl. You ain’t got no plans tonight. You ain’t got a boyfriend or nothing, so what’s a single girl living in your neck of the woods gonna do alone? Put your nice ass to work and be here at nine sharp.”
He hangs up.
I cringe and curse that son of a bitch inwardly (but not literally considering that would probably kill him). Carter is just as bad as Abel, if not worse. Abel is younger than I am (he’s twenty-one, the same age as Ebony when she died) while I’m twenty-five, almost twenty-six. Abel is just horny; Carter, on the other hand, isn’t against punishing his employees if they show up late or not at all, especially if they refuse to work for whatever reason, even their pride and dignity. Jasmine is really in for it; this is the fourth time she’s called in this month, always with some lame excuse.
Sadly, Carter does have a point – I’m a single woman with no attachments. I’m not even in a coven; I literally fly solo (though I try not to use a broom at all considering how ostensive that would be to the entire planet), so I can’t call up any gal pals and hang out with them, either.
The full moon isn’t for a few more weeks, and I can’t obtain the moonstone until the waning crescent, so I can’t work on my spell either. What else do I have to do but work, basically selling my body for filthy tips? I’m pathetic, and I begin to despise even myself.
“Bad news?” Dominic cuts into my thoughts of self-loathing.
“My asshole boss wants me to work tonight,” I reply in chagrin.
“Tough break. Where do you work?”
As Dominic leans against the door, I almost blurt out honestly where I work. But considering I’m ashamed of that, and I don’t want anyone knowing it (although of course Abel does, the dickhead), I figure a little white lie will suffice.
“I work at a club downtown,” I affirm.
“Oh, it’s not very well-known. Trust me, you don’t even want to go there.”
“I might just to see you.”
I have to stare after this statement. Wasn’t that a little...direct? A little forward?
And yet, I find that I don’t have any qualms with this. Plus, it seems that Dominic appears to be scrutinizing me with wandering eyes. I’m not one to feel self-conscious. If anything, I usually feel confident. But I do feel my cheeks heating up.
I finally say, “I have a few things to do before I have to get to work, so I’ll see you later” before turning on my heel and sashaying back to my room, wiggling my ass a little bit before closing the door behind me.
As I contemplate afternoon activities before going to the hellhole that is my place of employment, I’m reminded of Carter’s comments again. Yes, I’m single, but sadly I can’t even remember the last time I’ve had sex. And seeing that guy across the hall, looking so fine...not to mention basically flirting with me, well, it’s really driven my libido back up.
Thankfully, I don’t need a boyfriend to cure that.
Since I’ve got the entire afternoon ahead of me, all the ingredients for Ebony’s spell that I can get at the moment, and the spell memorized like the back of my hand, I decide to have a little personal time. Normally I’m appalled by this, considering my line of work and the advances of Abel. Plus, I’m still not too happy about last night. But nevertheless, I have needs, and after the shit I’ve been through in the past twenty-four hours, I deserve to fulfill them.
I sprawl across the floor, not wanting to make a mess of the bed I’ve just made (plus not wanting to have to do laundry again so soon), staring once more at the same ceiling I was fixated on last night. But this time, I won’t be depressed.
My stomach churning in excitement, I reach up and caress my breast. It’s been so long since I’ve been touched like this, even by my own hand. My clothes are restricting my access, but I find this to make the situation more tantalizing.
I can feel my nipple hardening under my touch. I smile and gently arch my back upward. I squeeze and tug, pull and rub. Finally, I can’t stand having my clothes on any longer. I shred them and discard them on the floor. Only my bra and underwear remain. And it’s time to get serious.
I reach down in between my legs, my hand still cupping my boob. I can feel that I’m already moist.
Just like my grimoire and voodoo doll, my intimate personal possessions are locked away in a safe place. In this case, it’s in a second locked box under my bed next to the trunk that contains my spell book. But considering the long dry spell I’ve been in with actual good pleasure (Abel’s half-assed attempt last night doesn’t count), I definitely don’t need them now.
I tease myself slightly, gently caressing my most sensitive area while continuing to grope my breast. Then, I slowly insert one finger, then two, and retract them. I could do this for a long time, but today I’m impatient.
“Fuck it,” I murmur as I move my second hand down below my waist. I hold myself open as I slide two fingers inside me, not even removing my underwear. And this time I’m not gentle. I don’t need it to be gentle all the time.
I can’t stifle a moan as the friction against my nether region increases. My mind swirls with fantasies, all of which involve hot muscular guys with huge cocks. This is good, but nothing can compare to the real thing.
But right now, it’s all I have. And I’m going to make the most of it. So I continue to move my fingers in and out, my moans beginning to rise. But I have to be quiet considering this is an apartment complex and someone could hear me easily. Especially given the shitty and cheap quality of these walls.
I keep rubbing, inserting, grinding until it feels so good that I involuntarily tighten my muscles. My legs clench up and I begin to writhe. I need one final thing to push me over the edge.
None of the men in my fantasies ever have faces; all I care about is what’s below their waist. So I picture one last guy with bulging muscles plowing into me, and in my mind I yell at him, “Fuck me!”
That is my undoing. My orgasm splurges through me and sprays onto the carpet, which was stained long before I moved in. I put my hands on the floor next to me, gasping for air. God, that was good. I’ve missed this pleasure so much. If only it could have been with a real man instead of a solo session.
Finally, I sit up and replace my now soaked underwear, then put my clothes back on. I take the underwear downstairs with a few other pieces of laundry to the apartment’s laundry room and throw them into the washing machine.
The loud thrumming noise penetrates my senses, but I’m still oblivious to it. I glance at the clock and see that it’s now early evening. I got up later than I thought. So with a resounding sigh, I trudge back to my apartment and prepare to get ready to go to work.
But I don’t miss the palpable wink that Dominic Taylor gives me when he sees me slipping back into my apartment.