Steven Ennis unwrapped the present and looked dubiously at a small rock tablet about the size of his hand.
"What is it?" he asked.
The tablet was a roughly square piece of obsidian stone. Carved into one side was a crude depiction of a ferocious female demon. Bat wings sprouted from her back and a tail was coiled around her right leg. She was naked and had been given an exaggerated set of breasts. An equally exaggerated pussy gaped open like a mouth. She was snarling in fury and wielded a whip in her left hand.
"It's a succubus tablet," Garth Dillon answered. "We found it in this quaint little shop while we were up in Whitby for the goth festival."
"The owner was a little ... eccentric," Denise Ridgeway said. "He said it would attract succubi into the dreams of whoever owned it."
Both of them were standing in Ennis's living room-cum-bedroom and looked every bit the happy couple. Denise had her arms wrapped loosely around Garth's shoulders. Ennis envied them.
"He was crazy enough to believe it worked," Garth added, "kept giving us the old nudge-nudge wink-wink routine."
"Brings back memories," Ennis said.
"Of youthful indiscretions," Garth laughed, hugging Denise.
"What's a succubus," John Delano asked. He was a friend of Denise's from work and didn't have the same background as the three of them.
"A female demon," Ennis replied. "She's supposed to invade the dreams of men and steal their seed by having sex with them."
"Basically a medieval explanation for a wet dream," Denise elaborated. "We thought they might be more once, when we were younger and more foolish."
"Whatsisname, Jamie Moore, was obsessed by them. Kept trying to summon one." Garth said.
"We were Satanists," Denise said, delighting in the look of shock from Delano's girlfriend.
"It was just a dumb phase we went through as kids," she continued. "We never really took it that seriously. It was just an excuse to dress up and fool around in graveyards. It was all very silly, but I met my Gar because of it."
She stared lovingly into her boyfriend's eyes and kissed him on the cheek.
"What happened to Jamie?" Garth asked.
Ennis remembered how he, Garth, Denise and others like them had seen the satanic rituals as basically an excuse to fool around with each other. It was a way to rebel and grab some sex in the moonlight at the same time. Nobody really believed all that crap. Well, except Jamie. While everyone else was getting as much sex as they could ever want Jamie was obsessed about summoning up some demoness to get him off.
"He went mad and they locked him up," Ennis said. Noticing the room had lapsed into shocked silence he added, "He was never really that stable to start with."
"Always did take it too seriously," Garth said sadly.
Ennis had got out when Jamie tried to drag them into another coven. Screwing goth chicks on tombstones was cool, but when the women were middle-aged and saggy and you had to watch out in case their husbands tried to slide their cock in your ass, it no longer seemed quite so appealing.
Ennis looked at the back of the tablet. It was plain apart from a few lines of spidery writing etched into the surface. Ennis couldn't read it. He thought it might be in some form of Latin, but the handwriting was elaborate to the point of being illegible and some of the words had worn away.
"Looks old," he said.
"Do you like it?" Denise asked.
"Yes, thanks." He added it to a small shelf filled with other gothic accoutrements he'd picked up over the years. "Who knows, it might actually work."
"We thought a few hot dreams of sex with a rampant nymphomaniac demoness would do you some good," Garth laughed. "Especially after..."
Garth wasn't so good with tact, which was why Denise was good for him. She elbowed him in the chest and Garth looked suitably mortified.
The wounds left by Michaela's departure were still raw and would be for some time, but Ennis had no intention of being the killjoy that dragged Christmas into a morass of self-pity.
"Ancient history," he said, forcing a smile. "Now let's get down the pub and grab a few beers."
When you were twenty-six and single Christmas fucking sucked, Ennis thought as he returned to his dark little flat. All his mates were in relationships. They would be going home as couples while he was Johnny No-Mates, returning to his cold flat all alone. He hadn't noticed it when he was with Michaela, but now she was gone he felt like the fifth wheel none of his friends, all couples, really knew what to do with.
Oh well. He'd strum on the guitar for a bit; get some practise in for the gig tomorrow.
You're living a pipe dream, Michaela told him during one of their many arguments about money and other real life intrusions Ennis really didn't want to get bogged down with.
She didn't understand. Did Sting or Paul McCartney stop just because someone told them they were living a dream? No they pushed their dream all the way until it became reality.
You had to be patient. If you believed it would happen, it would.
Michaela's patience had run out. Same as Ellie before her and Emma before that.
Now he was alone on fucking Christmas. It sucked. Ennis grabbed a beer from the fridge, walked into his bedroom and switched on the light.
He was shocked to find a girl sitting on his bed.
No, not quite a girl. Something else.
She looked a lot like a petite young woman, but her eyes gave her away as something not human. They were pure black. No whites, iris or pupil, just an abyssal black all the way through. Her face was delicately elegant, almost elfin, apart from a pair of full, sensual lips. Incongruously a Santa hat was sitting on top of her head between two pointed ears. Wavy red hair spilled out from beneath the hat to cascade like flames on her pale shoulders.
When she saw Ennis her face split in a broad smile.
"Master, I waited for you," she said in a voice that chimed like silver bells.
Her slender, pale body was naked apart from a couple of strategically placed pink ribbons. Smiling and jiggling she reached behind her back and the ribbon around her chest fell away to reveal a pair of full, milky-white breasts. They were much larger than would be expected for such a slender body. The girl coquettishly folded her arms around them, more to bring them to Ennis's notice than hide them. Not that she needed to, Ennis couldn't take his eyes off her. She had the most beautiful body he'd ever seen.
"Does master like his present?" the girl asked.
"You're a succubus," Ennis said, still stunned that such a thing could be real. He cast his mind back through all the wild parties he'd ever been to in an attempt to remember if he'd ever taken enough LSD to put this down to a flashback.
The girl demurely looked over her shoulder. Two small folded black bat wings rose into view. She extended them a little to prove they were real before folding them back again. A long, slender red tail with an arrow-tip point curved round from behind her back. The point playfully brushed the second ribbon at the point where it lay over her sex.
"I'm yours, to give you pleasure in any way you desire," she said.
Ennis looked over to the tablet Garth and Denise had brought over earlier.
"I thought you were supposed to come to me through my dreams," he said.
"Sometimes we hunger for more ... physical pleasures," the pale girl said. Her tail slipped under the ribbon and her body shuddered as it entered the treasure hidden beneath
The tail pulled away, taking the ribbon with it. Ennis stared at the naked, hairless labia of her pussy. She opened her legs wider and spread the flesh with her fingers to give him a better view.
Ennis was too stunned to move, literally paralysed by her beauty and the oddness of the situation.
"Am I not to my master's satisfaction?" Fear entered the girl's face at the prospect of him rejecting her. She looked like she was about to burst into tears.
"You're perfect," he murmured, finally shaking free of the paralysis to claw and grasp at his buttons in an attempt to rip his clothes off as fast as possible.
The wide, innocent smile returned and she held her arms out to him. Fully naked, Ennis eagerly fell forward into her soft embrace. Her arms wrapped around him as he lay down upon her. The air was filled with a subtle perfume that tickled his nostrils and stoked his lust. His lips brushed against hers and he felt a spark crackle between them. He crushed her slender body to his and lost himself in the pleasure of their kiss.
Having sex with a girl who also possessed a prehensile tail was a new experience to Ennis. While her hands roamed and caressed across his back he felt her slender tail wind around his erect cock and give it a gentle squeeze. She guided him until the head of his cock rested against the plush labia of her vagina.
"Please master, I want to feel you inside me," she whispered in his ear.
Ennis obliged, letting his hips slowly fall. He gasped as his cock entered her.
So tight. So warm. So soft. So slick.
Her vaginal muscles felt alive. They gripped and pulsed and throbbed and sucked, taking Ennis to peaks of pleasure he'd never before ascended. He thrust his hips against her and felt her thrust back at him from the bed.
"Ooo master, you feel so nice," the succubus sighed.
Her pussy was slick with her juices and some of his. Ennis slid in and out of her tight vagina with effortless ease. He felt the beginnings of a monstrous orgasm building within his body.
"Feed me your seed master, so I may stay longer on this earth to give you pleasure." Her eyes were closed in bliss as her whole body moved against his like a wave.
He was deep within her and he felt her strong vaginal muscles try to suck his cock deeper still. The sensation was incredible. Ennis could feel he was losing control of his body as the mounting orgasm built up higher and higher.
"Yes, cum in me master. Feed me your seed." Her vaginal walls gripped him tighter, holding him deep inside her.
Ennis groaned as the dam shattered and the orgasm crashed over him like a tidal wave. He spurted jet after jet of hot cum into the hungry suction of her pussy and his whole body shuddered with the force of the release. Beneath him the succubus thrashed and bucked like a wild thing, her eyes tight shut as she cried out in ecstasy.
Completely spent and exhausted, Ennis collapsed on her body.
He'd never ever felt an orgasm as powerful as that before, or even thought one could exist.
"Mmm, master tastes delicious," his succubus murmured contently in his ear. Within her pussy he felt her muscles gently coax the last strands of semen from his softening cock.
They lay together for a while, waiting as their bodies cooled down and jangling nerves returned to proper working order.
"That. Was. Incredible," Ennis said, still breathing in gasps.
"Is master pleased?" his succubus asked. Her elfin face looked delicate and vulnerable.
"Yes, master is very pleased," Ennis said, kissing her on her soft lips.
His succubus gave a happy giggle and kissed him passionately. She rolled him over onto his back and sat on his stomach. Her pitch-black eyes stared deep into his.
"I will return to bring you greater pleasures master."
She blew him a kiss and he felt her warm, perfumed breath cover his face. He closed his eyes and let his nose draw in the gentle aroma. When he opened them his succubus was gone, leaving only the fragrant scent of her body behind as a reminder.
Ennis lay back and basked in the aftermath of pure orgiastic bliss. That had been incredible. No wonder Moore had been so obsessed with trying to summon one. And she'd promised him greater pleasures to come...
Ennis couldn't wait.
He looked over at the tablet sitting on the shelf. Garth and Denise couldn't have known it, but they'd given him the best present in the world.
"You look like crap," Ennis said when Garth came over with the drinks. "Too many beers last night?"
His friend looked pale and dark rings surrounded his eyes.
"Must have been," Garth replied. "I don't remember drinking that many, but I woke up this morning with the worst fucking hangover ever. My head's still splitting now. That's why I'm drinking this fucking pussy's drink," he said holding up a bottle of J2O.
"Gar off his beer. You must be sick," Ennis said.
"Reckon I must have been given a dodgy pint somewhere. I bet it's that bastard at the Hook. He never cleans the bloody pipes properly. Anyway you're looking fairly pleased with yourself. Did you find yourself a nubile young waif to keep you company last night."
"No, don't tell me that stupid thing we got you actually works."
"Have you been spending all night dreaming hot demon sex? Come on, enquiring minds would like to know."
"Not unless Liv Tyler has been claimed by the devil," Ennis laughed.
Later, Ennis played his best gig ever. He fucking owned the stage. It was a shame Carey kept screwing up the bass line. Maybe they needed to find a new bass player. Ennis would talk about it with the other guys next rehearsal session. Sometimes you had to make a few sacrifices if you really wanted to make it.
Best of all he returned home to find his succubus waiting for him on the bed. He was so amped from the gig he fucked her until the early hours of the morning.
"Top gig last night," Garth said when they met up in the pub. "You played like a demon."
"Just got inspired I guess," Ennis said. His mind was elsewhere, remembering the soft breath of the succubus as she'd blown in his ear after he'd cum for a third time.
"You feeling alright?" Ennis asked. "You don't look so good."
"Just tired," Garth replied. "Didn't sleep too well last night."
That night his succubus squealed in delight as Ennis bent her over the bed and did her doggy style.
Ennis didn't get out of the house at all on Tuesday. His succubus was waiting for him behind the bathroom door. Giggling she pulled him into the shower and they stayed there until the whole bathroom floor was completely covered in a layer of water.
"Where's Garth?" Ennis asked when he went out with the gang on the Wednesday night.
"Not feeling too good," Denise said. "We think he's picked up one of those bugs going round. He'll be okay in a couple of days."
Ennis made his excuses and left early that evening. His succubus was waiting for him back home.
"Jesus Gar! You should be home in fucking bed."
His friend was barely recognisable from the man who'd dropped off that gift on Christmas day. His long black hair, normally so carefully maintained, was lank and greasy and streaks of grey had started to appear in it. He looked like he'd been in a fight and picked up two black eyes. His skin had the waxy yellow sheen of someone carrying a serious internal disorder. Ennis guessed he'd lost at least a stone in weight.
"It's your big gig, couldn't miss that," Garth replied. "Alan told me there was an A & R man from one of the minor labels lurking round."
"Cheers for the support man. Shame there aren't a few more punters in. We always play better with a bit of crowd atmosphere."
"You look very happy with yourself anyway. When are we going to see this girl Denise is convinced you've got stashed away?"
They both laughed, but the moment was spoiled when Garth broke down in a coughing fit that just wouldn't quit.
"Is he okay?" Ennis asked Denise as Delano helped Garth to the bathroom. "He's not doing any ... uh ... drugs or anything?"
Denise flashed him a look of complete venom. "He's your friend, how can you ask that!"
Ennis was again a colossus on the stage. Unfortunately, Brian Jenkins, their lead singer had decided to get stoned a couple of hours before and completely fucked up his voice with the pot. It wasn't one of their better gigs. Maybe he needed to find a different band.
He played for his succubus that night and she loved it. Right in the middle of a complicated solo she leant down and gave him the most mind-blowing blow job he'd ever experienced.
"It's Gar," Denise's tearful voice told him on the phone.
Ennis went over to their flat right away.
Denise was crying. "He's just wasting away. We went to the doctors and they couldn't work out what was wrong. They're running tests, but he's just wasting away and I don't know what to do." She broke down in sobs.
Ennis said nothing, just hugged her.
"I'm sorry," Denise said, "I just feel so scared and helpless."
Garth sat in a chair and looked wretched. The grey strands had multiplied in his hair and there were bald patches where some of it had fallen out. His complexion was horrible, a waxy mask of blotchy yellows and reds. He'd easily lost another stone in weight since Ennis had seen him last.
"It's my dreams," Garth said, turning to fix Ennis with clouded eyes. "I can't remember them fully. There's something there though, something dark and terrible with midnight black wings and eyes that glow like the fires of hell."
He put a hand on his forehead.
"I'm going mad. Just like Jamie."
Ennis thought about the tablet and his succubus. But it couldn't be...
Ennis felt better than he'd ever felt before. His body was bursting with vibrant energy. Garth looked like a husk of his former self. The contrast couldn't be greater.
"Don't worry Denise." Ennis put reassuring hands on the shoulders of the crying girl. "I'm sure the doctors will find an answer."
Ennis was troubled as he returned to his flat.