Free Reading!

By permission of my publisher, and the authority invested in me by being appointed the head of the Erotic branch of the Library of the Living Dead, I hereby give you the first three chapters of my steamy zombie romance novel, Lucky Stiff: Memoirs of the Undead Lover.

I have thought a lot about this and decided that a lot of folks are a little scared to take a chance on Peter's story. After all, the idea of zombie sex seems to make some folks a little nervous. As a result, I have decided to give you a free read. Three chapters. That's a LOT of free read folks. But I think once you delve into the story a bit, you will find yourself wanting to read the rest of it.

I've given you two options for reading. One is a pdf file. Yup. A free pdf file with the first three chapters of Lucky Stiff. Go ahead, just right click to download it or click it to read it. Enjoy it. I know you will.

Click here for the free pdf download.

For those not wanting or willing to mess with a pdf then just keep on keeping on. I posted the entire three chapters under this post.

Please be aware that this work does get steamy, and sexy, and all manners of hot, hot, hot!

So sit back, relax and enjoy what you've been missing. When you've reached the end of the partial, you will find another set of links to buy the rest. And trust me, you will want to buy it.

Thanks!

Click here to purchase the paperback novel.

Click here to purchase the Kindle version.
********************************************************************************

Chapter One

I was never much of a lover when I was alive,

but all of that changed once my heart stopped beating.

My name is Peter Lyles, and I’m dead.

Trust me, I know how that sounds, like an admission of guilt or the beginning of some kind of twelve-step program for the recently deceased, but stay with me on this. I promise it won’t be all doom and gloom. Death isn’t quite the tragedy I was told it would be. Take, for example, the fact that death has greatly improved my sex life. One day I’m struggling to find the nerve to even talk to a girl, the next I get more bangs than a fireworks factory on the Fourth of July. Imagine my surprise. It was even more of a shock than returning from the grave.

But, I’m getting ahead of myself.

It all started my sophomore year in college, April of ’85, right after my eighteenth birthday. Things were different then. Reagan was just sworn in for a second term. Madonna was big on the airwaves. I thought I had my whole life ahead of me. Spring break rolled around, so the guys and I took a run down to New Orleans for a little well-deserved R and R. For me that meant rest and relaxation; for the other three it meant reefer and roofies. Our pal Mooch was a local, so with his help we stayed off the beaten path and away from the touristy hangouts. In other words, the guys could stay wasted twenty-four seven without running into much authority, which was fine with me. I wasn’t much into the partying scene. Midterms had just about wiped me out, and I was all about the rest, and maybe a little relaxation.

Trouble was, I couldn’t wind down. No matter how much I tried, I couldn’t seem to still my mind. It was coiled up tighter than a snake filled with the venom of theorems and chemical compounds and anatomy charts and literature quotes, and if I didn’t get some rest soon I was going to lose my tiny little mind.

“What you need is some weed,” Jack said. Jack was always a fan of the herb, staying jacked up on the wacky tobacky most of his waking hours. How he managed to make his way through classes from year to year was beyond me. Personally, I never liked the idea of smoking, tobacco or otherwise. I tried a cigarette, once. After I coughed myself to the point of pissing, I regained my ability to breathe and swore I’d never go that route again.

“What you need is to get laid,” Mooch said. That was Mooch all over. He thought sex was the answer to everything. Of course, for him it was. The man was a panty dropping machine. For me, however, sex was a little harder to come by. Granted, Mooch had a few years on me, still in his second year of college at twenty-three and the eldest among us. At the time I thought that even if I were given an equal amount of years to make up for it, there’s no way I could ever have hoped to catch up with his level of female conquests.

How little we know ‘til we arrive.

So there I was, longing for sleep like a fat kid craved cake, and all I had to tuck me in were an illegal substance and an impossible dream.

Dave came to my pharmaceutical rescue.

“What you need is sedatives,” he said. Dave had abandoned the simplicity of weed years ago in favor of pill-shaped happiness. He was well known across our campus as ‘Drug Store Dave.’

“I don’t know,” I said. “I don’t want to get hooked on anything.”

“Who said anything about hooked?” Dave asked. “They’re sleeping pills, not crack, you dickhead.”

He waggled one of his infamous baggies at me before he dropped it in my lap. Little white beauties teased me through the clear plastic, taunting me with their smoothness devoid of numbers, letters, or any identifying marks whatsoever.

“What are they?” I asked.

“Some over-the-counter thing,” Dave said.

“In a zip-top bag?”

Dave shrugged. “What? I got them for half price ‘cause the bottle was busted.”

“So, what are they?”

“I don’t remember the brand name. The only thing I remember is they’re a really low dose, like for kids or old folks or something. You might need to take a few to get some sleep.”

I eyed the plastic baggie as I mulled over his words. Naturally I was wary, but I was also desperate. I hadn’t had a decent night’s sleep in nearly three weeks.

So down the pills went.

Then down I went.

Neither the pills nor I got back up that night.

I never blamed the guys for what they did to me. I still don’t. Hell, if it weren’t for their screw-up I’d probably be behind some boring desk, filling out boring forms for the rest of my boring life, instead of … but again, I’m getting ahead of myself. No, I don’t blame them. They were just trying to help out a friend in need.

Indeed.

Funny thing was, even though I qualified for the big dirt nap, I remember everything they said and did with terrifying clarity. It was as though my spirit spent the next few hours hanging out, watching the action, like it knew I was due to come back.

The guys closed the door on my part of the suite once the pills put me under. A few hours later, Jack found me lying face-down on the hotel bed, just as he’d left me, but by now I was blue as ice and every bit as chilled. He was the first to panic. Jack had a tendency to freak out over every little thing, so I imagine the death of his best friend hit him the hardest.

“He’s not breathing, man,” Jack said as he stooped over my still form. He backed away from my body doing that weird little dance he did when things got too heavy for him. Toe to toe, foot to foot he swayed, his thin frame shaking with what I assumed was fear. “He’s been out for three hours and now he’s not breathing. Guys?”

“Oops,” Dave said, retrieving the baggie from my now cold fingers.

“What does ‘oops’ mean?” Jack asked. “What the hell does ‘oops’ mean?”

“It means those weren’t sleeping pills,” Dave confessed.

“What did you give him?” Mooch asked.

“Adams,” Dave said as he sifted through the remaining pills. “About five of them.”

“Holy shit,” Mooch said.

That got even Dave and Mooch doing the worry two-step all over the place. No wonder too, seeing as how our old friend Adam was involved. Kids these days call that intimate little trip in the form of a white pill by a different name.

Ecstasy.

“Oh my God!” Dave cried. “We killed him.”

“What’s this ‘we’ shit?” Mooch asked, drawing up to his full height. “It was your dope.”

“Yeah but you got them for me, man,” Dave said.

Mooch slumped back to his usual lumbering form.

“We killed him,” Jack echoed. “We killed Peter.”

“We gotta think,” Dave said.

“Think about what?” Mooch asked. “How to hide the body?”

“You got it,” Dave said.

“You can’t be serious,” Jack protested. “We can’t just leave him like this.”

“What else can we do?” Dave asked. “We don’t have a choice.”

“We can’t,” Jack said. “He’s our friend.”

“Was our friend,” Mooch said. “He’s worm food now, man.”

“But—” Jack started.

“Look, asshole,” Dave said, backing Jack into the corner of the room. “Everyone who knows Peter knows he’s a prude. He don’t drink, he don’t fuck and he certainly don’t do drugs. So who are they gonna blame this on? Huh?”

Jack turned a fine shade of white. I would’ve loved to lay Dave out for putting Jack in that kind of position, but the guy had a point. When I was alive, I was king of self-denial. I might accept a few sedatives, sure, but there was no way folks would believe I had taken five Adams on my own.

They were screwed.

“Do you want to go to prison, Jack?” Mooch asked.

Jack shook his head, his lips quivering a little, like he might cry any minute.

With a grunt, Dave left Jack to cower in the corner. “Unless you want to spend tonight curled up in a fetal position downtown, contemplating how sexy your first man-love session in prison will be, I suggest you start coming up with places to hide him.”

“Peter’s our friend,” Jack whimpered. “We can’t just leave him for dead. It isn’t right.”

Dave spun on his heel, fist raised with what I’m sure was every intention of beating the crybaby out of Jack, when Mooch spoke up.

“Jack might be onto something,” Mooch said.

“What are you squawking about?” Dave asked.

“We don’t have to just leave him dead,” Mooch said with a grin.

“We don’t?” Jack asked.

“No,” Mooch said, his grin growing wider. I might have been just a disembodied spirit, but even I got the creepy-crawlies from that grin.

“What are you thinking, Mooch?” Dave wondered.

“I’m thinking we go see Madam Sangrail.”

“Who the hell is that?” Dave asked.

“This old witch that lives just outside the neighborhood where I grew up.” Mooch took on a far-off look, like he was remembering something pleasant. “Some of us kids used to do odd jobs for her. Of course we weren’t supposed to, but we did anyway. She let us smoke and drink and stuff. Hell, I bet she’s still in that same old place up in the swamps.”

“Why would we want to bother with some old bitch?” Dave asked.

Mooch snapped back to the present with another sly grin. “I didn’t call her a bitch, though that ain’t far from it.” He smiled wider, and said, as if it explained everything, “Locals call her the Voodoo Queen.” When Dave and Jack still looked unconvinced, he added, “Folks say she can do things. To people. Dead people.”

Understanding opened Dave’s face for a moment before skepticism pinched it closed. “You’ve got to be shitting me.”

“I don’t understand,” Jack said.

“You’re being serious?” Dave asked. “She can bring him … back?”

Mooch shrugged. “Maybe. She’s into all kinds of freaky junk.”

“No one comes back from the dead,” Jack scoffed. “That’s impossible.”

“I’ve seen her do weirder shit,” Mooch said. “If she can’t bring him back, I bet she’ll know how to fix this mess.”

So it was settled. They rolled my corpse in the bathroom rug, so when they carted me to the back of Dave’s van at two in the morning, I looked like nothing more than a fat ball of carpet. It was Mooch’s idea, or rather an idea that Mooch borrowed from some TV show. No surprise there. Jack blabbered all the way to the Madam’s place, which I suppose is better than blubbering, but not by much. His biggest worry, as it turned out, was not the fact that they’d killed me, but what they were planning on doing with me.

“This seems wrong,” he repeated for the umpteenth time.

“Will you shut it?” Dave shouted. “You cry one minute about not leaving him for dead, and then whine the next about not bringing him back. Make up your mind, you pussy.”

“I just meant we couldn’t leave him lying around somewhere,” Jack said. “I didn’t mean we should practice black magic on him.”

“We aren’t practicing anything,” Mooch said. “The Madam will handle it. She lives for this kind of shit. Just follow my lead, and for shit’s sake don’t ask any questions. She hates to be questioned.”

“You really think she can do it?” Dave asked.

“It wouldn’t surprise me if she could. Trust me, she knows stuff that would blow your little mind.”

“How come you know so much about her?” Jack demanded.

Mooch waggled his eyebrows. “‘Cause she blows more than just minds.”

Jack blinked a few times. “I thought you said she was, like, a hundred years old?”

“Give or take a few centuries.” Mooch shrugged.

Jack groaned. “It’d be like doing your grandma.”

“Shit man, she ain’t nothing like your grandma or my grandma or anyone’s grandma. Ever.” Mooch lowered one hand to the crotch of his jeans to perform a little adjustment, then continued. “You won’t believe how good that mouth feels when she takes her teeth out.”

“Geesh, Mooch,” Dave said. “Is there anything you won’t bone?”

Leave it to Mooch. He always had an eye for the dark and mysterious. By dark I mean foreign chicks, and by mysterious, well, I mean that coveted act that was to me one of life’s greatest mysteries. Yep, I died as a registered member of the V-club, unless you include my nightly visits with Rosy Palm and her five sisters. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to have sex, I just never seemed to have the time, nor was I actually presented with the opportunity, so to speak. Girls seemed put off by my brains, although Jack always said it was my lack of charm, while Mooch said I was just ass-ugly.

I never thought of myself as particularly ugly, but the lack of tail seemed to prove his point. As a redhead, I could barely spend any time in the sun without smoldering, so I was not only ginger, but too pale to boot. Pair these winning attributes with the constant brush of freckles I couldn’t shed, as well as my bone-thin frame, and it was no wonder that the opposite sex saw me as more “friend” and less “boy.” Mooch tried to set me up with a hooker once or twice, but I didn’t like the idea of having to pay for something the other guys got for free.

Now, all things considered, that seems kind of ironic, doesn’t it?

The Madam’s shop, a small, two-bedroom house, rested just on the outskirts of a thick, damp swamp. They wrestled my body from the van and lugged me up the steps, propping me against a porch post while they debated their approach. They didn’t have long to scheme. Their furious whispers and clipped bickering woke the lady of the house in a right hurry. The door creaked open just a crack, silencing the guys.

“What can I do for ya boys?” came a sultry voice from behind the door. The Madam’s accent lilted with that island cadence that seems forced when you first hear it, but soon settles on the ear like a lover’s lapping tongue.

“Hey, babe.” Mooch shot her his typical player’s grin. I had seen that grin lift many a skirt for the man.

“Moochy baby. Long time no see. What’s it been? A lifetime?”

“Feels like it.”

“Ain’t ya grown up all handsome. Where ya been, lover boy?”

“Been busy with school. Missed you, though.”

Her laughter was low, throaty, the growl of some wild animal. “Like a dose of tha clap, ya missed me. Dat why ya come running back when ya in trouble, not when ya needs some lovin’?”

Jack gasped.

Mooch eyed him into silence, then turned back to the door with a sheepish look. “Yeah. ‘Bout that. We sure could use your help.”

“Sangrail knows ya do,” she answered. The door creaked wider. A dark, sinewy arm slipped out of the opening, beckoning us inside. “Bring ya young selves in. Don’t forget da stiff. And I’m not talking about da ones between ya legs.”

Jack gasped again as he eyed my rug-wrapped corpse. “How does she know—”

“Shut up, man,” Mooch hissed. “Just be cool. I told you, she knows stuff.”

Madam Sangrail might have been a hundred, or even two hundred, but the woman didn’t look a day over twenty. Standing almost as tall as Mooch, she was a dark chocolate fantasy wrapped in tissue-thin silk. Dreadlocks hung in raven sprays around her beautiful face, framing her high cheekbones, her dark coffee eyes, her broad crimson smile. Her breasts were fantastic, taut and tight on her supple frame. Her bust earned the name, threatening to burst from her tight blouse if she took too deep a breath. Gauzy skirts billowed around her as she moved, reminding me of a blooming flower, its teasing petals hinting at the shapely stems beneath. Chimes tinkled at her steps from bracelet upon bracelet of tiny, silver bells wrapped around each ankle.

“Damn, Mooch,” Dave whispered. “I thought you said she was old.”

“Don’t let that body fool you,” Mooch whispered back. “She was old when I was a kid.”

“And she ain’t gettin’ any younger,” the Madam said. “Now step it up, boys.” She continued her sashay through her parlor and into her dining room.

As a disembodied spirit, all I could do was follow, ethereal drool flowing freely.

The body from which I’d been evicted was unceremoniously hauled into the Madam’s house, freed from its carpeted confines, and plunked onto the dining room table for inspection. The Madam grunted and groaned as she scrutinized every inch of my dead body. It was the most a woman had ever touched me, and I had to die to get the attention.

“Dis boy been poisoned,” she announced. “Overdose from da looks of him.”

“Damn,” Dave whispered. “She’s good.”

“Who gave him da dope?” she asked.

Mooch and Jack, fair-weather friends they were, pointed straight to Dave.

“Thanks a lot, jerk wads,” Dave said.

“What he been takin’?” she asked.

Dave handed over the baggie, at which Madam Sangrail barked a sharp laugh.

“Ya boys always thinking the answer to all ya problems lies in pills,” she said. “Ya’d swallow kerosene if ya thought it’d make ya grow three inches.”

I got the impression she wasn’t talking about height.

“Excuse me, ma’am,” Jack said, actually raising his hand for a turn to speak.

“What is it, young man?” she asked.

“P-p-peter wasn’t like that, ma’am,” Jack stammered as he lowered his hand.

She narrowed her eyes at my friend, drawing close enough to make the hair on his arm stand on end when she spoke again. “Well den, why don’t you tell old Sangrail what dis Petar was like?”

So they did. She had a hard time believing them at first, looking to Mooch for confirmation. The Madam also looked as though she couldn’t care less, until they got to the part where I died a virgin. Her eyes went saucer-wide at the news. All at once I was interesting. Lucky me.

“Dis boy never had a lover?” she asked.

“Not that we know of,” Mooch said.

Madam Sangrail turned her attention back to my cold corpse, trailing her hand along the length of my body as she asked, “He’s not what, maybe nineteen?”

“Eighteen, ma’am,” Jack said. “Graduated high school early. He never had much time for girls. He was always really focused on school.”

The Madam leaned in, right up to my ear, whispering, “Eighteen and never been kissed.”

My spirit roiled, an invisible cloud of floating indignation. I’d kissed a girl before. Three, to be exact. I had even made it to second base on one memorable occasion. I just never seemed to be able to cross that finish line, for one reason or another. But I won’t bore you with the details of my pre-undead sex life, or rather lack thereof.

The Madam cupped my groin, then, and I know how eerie this sounds, I swear to the heavens above the woman looked right at me. Not at my dead body lying there, but right up at me, as though she were aware of my essence hanging over her. She lifted her eyes, looked straight at me and said, “But Sangrail fix dat. Won’t she?”

The guys didn’t seem to hear that part, but I did. Boy did I ever.

“Can you help us out?” Mooch asked.

The Madam looked over her shoulder at him. “Remind me again why I should.”

“‘Cause you owe me,” Mooch said.

“Old debts mean nothing to an old woman,” she said. “Sangrail done taught ya enough to make up for taking ya little cherry. Didn’t she?”

Mooch grinned. “You sure did.”

“I hate ta break it to ya, Moochy baby, but Sangrail don’t do much magicking dese days.”

“What is that supposed to mean?”

“It means I ain’t in da raisin’ business naw more.”

“Bullshit.”

“Naw, dat da truth. People ask too many questions dese days. Lookin’ for all da wrong answers. It ain’t like it used ta be.”

“True. It ain’t like it used to be. And that’s why it would be so hard for a woman like you to come by a young man like Peter. I know how much he means to you. How much power’s in there.” He nodded to my corpse.

The Madam tilted her head to stare at the ethereal me again. “Do ya now? Do ya know just how much?”

Mooch nodded again. “How often does a chance like him come knocking?”

“Moochy, ya always had da silver tongue. Could charm de birdies right out da trees.”

He flashed her another wide smile. “Come on, girl. What do you say? Once more, for old time’s sake?”

“Old times?” Sangrail snorted. “Boy, ya ain’t old enough ta have old times.”

“I saw enough when I was with you to give me enough old times for three men.”

She chuckled. “Now dat da truth.”

“Can you help us out?” Mooch pressed. “Help me out?”

“I do believe I can,” she said, still eyeing my otherworldly form.

It was high-fives all around for the guys.

Even I smiled a ghostly grin.

“You can really bring him back to life?” Jack asked.

Mooch groaned at the question.

One hand still clutching my family jewels, the Madam tossed her head back, letting go a growling laugh that shuddered the windows in their sashes. “Back ta life? Naw boy, Sangrail can’t bring naw one back ta dis life. Dis boy ain’t never gonna live again.”

“Then how can you help us?” Dave asked, even more confused than Jack.

“Guys,” Mooch said, his tone shouting a warning louder than a fire siren. “You don’t really want to know.”

“Sure dey do,” the Madam said. “Dey want to know exactly what dey done got demselves into.”

Mooch heaved a sigh as he buried his face in his hands. “I told you guys not to ask questions.”

“Too late,” the Madam said. “Much too late for dat now. Ya go on, Moochy baby. Ya tell dem what Sangrail gonna go and do to dere friend.”

Jack and Dave implored Mooch with curious eyes. Even I was a little worried at this point. What in the hell had they gotten me into?

Mooch sighed again, then mumbled something incomprehensible.

“What?” Jack asked.

“She’s gonna make him a zombie!” Mooch hollered.

The guys looked at one another, then back to Mooch. The Madam laughed low again, her hand flexing over my package in a way that made me sorry I wasn’t in there to enjoy it.

“A zombie?” Jack asked.

Dave laughed a little. “You, man, are apeshit. That’s so damned funny.”

Mooch’s flat expression told Dave just how funny he was trying to be.

“You are kidding,” Dave said. “Aren’t you?”

Mooch shook his head. “I told you not to ask.”

“This is wrong,” Jack said. “This is more wrong than just hiding the body. Way wrong. Like heaven and hell kind of wrong.”

“Shut up, Jack!” Dave and Mooch said in unison.

Jack fell into his whimpering dance, his gaze jumping back and forth between my corpse and the strange Madam.

“What the hell, man?” Dave said, throwing Mooch a light punch in the arm. “What good is a freaking zombie going to do us?”

“At least he’ll be up and walking,” Mooch said. He looked to the Madam and asked, “Maybe even talking?”

Madam Sangrail shrugged.

“What good is a walking corpse?” Dave asked. “Or a talking one? Especially if he blabs on us?”

“Don’t you get it?” Mooch asked. “A walking corpse means he can walk anywhere. Like in front of a train, or into busy traffic, or off a bridge.”

Dave got it then. He covered his mouth with the back of his hand as though the idea sickened him. “Jack’s right. This is wrong.”

Mooch snarled at the guys. “Isn’t that better than the fuzz finding him face-down in a hotel bed, dead off your dope?”

Jack’s words rushed out in a series of excited squeaks. “You won’t hurt him? Will you?”

Madam Sangrail’s feral look faded as she narrowed her eyes, cocking her head at his question. Jack stood his ground, repeating the question even as the Madam tried to stare him down. A thin smile crept to her lips as his wavering voice begged her not to harm my corpse.

“Ain’t ya a sight for sore eyes,” she said. She tipped her head to Mooch and Dave. “While dese animals worry about demselves, you worry more ‘bout dis dead boy. An’ here I thought dere wasn’t a true friend left on dis earth.” Letting go of my groin, the Madam clasped her hands together, gesturing in Jack’s direction. “For his true friend, I promise he not suffer. May he always find pleasure, in all dat he does.”

Jack seemed satisfied by this response, his frantic shuffling giving way to a calm stillness. I was just glad at least one of my mates was a true friend. I can’t imagine where things might have gone if Jack hadn’t spoken up for me. Then again, I suspect the Madam made her plans the moment she laid eyes on me. She’s just that kind of gal.

“I tell ya what,” the Madam said, ushering the guys to the door. “Ya just leave ya friend with me. Sangrail knows what ta do.”

“You’ll take care of him?” Mooch asked as they reached the porch.

She smiled again. “Sure, lover boy. I do what I can. Ya not worry ya pretty head about it naw more.” With that she shut the door on them.

I lingered at the entrance, wondering if I should leave with them. After a few moments I decided I was much too curious about what the hell she was planning on doing with the rest of me. I followed her back to the parlor, where my body awaited. I caught myself hoping she’d palm me again, but all she did was pull up a chair and make herself comfortable at the feet of my corpse. There she sat, just staring the length of my dead body, thinking God only knows what. I was just beginning to wonder if I should have followed the guys back to the hotel, when she spoke.

“Well, what do ya think I should do with ya now?” she asked.

She lifted her face again, looking right at me.

“Come on boy,” she said. “I know ya here. I can feel ya lingering like ya just can’t wait ta jump back in da saddle. Is that what ya want? Ta get back in dis here bag a’ bones and get back to ya little life?”

That was exactly what I wanted. I can’t begin to describe how it feels to nod furiously when your head is lying still several feet below you.

The Madam smiled, ever wider, as she said, “Well, I hate ta rain on ya day, but it don’t happen like dat. Ya dead, boy. Ya better get used ta dat now. We can fix it so ya friends don’t suffer for dere deed. At least not just yet.”

I just hung there, unsure what she meant.

“Everything catches up with us, yes?” she asked, then laughed.

I suppose I understood, in a weird sort of way.

“Now, what am I gonna do with a fine young man like ya?” she asked as she stood. “Been a long time since Sangrail had a virgin on her hands. Especially a dead one.” She ran her hands along my corpse again, pausing at my waistband a moment, before she loosened my belt, that feral grin returning to her lips.

Now, I know what you’re thinking and trust me, the same thing was going through my mind, but it wasn’t like that. She wasn’t just some weird, kinky old freak. Okay, so she was old, and weird, and kinky, but what she had in store for my corpse wasn’t quite the horror show my flinching phantom nerves had me set for. Turns out the Madam practiced an ancient art known in certain circles as Tantric Enchantment.

To the rest of us, that’s just fancy talk for sex magic.

Despite sex being right there in the title, there wasn’t anything erotic in what she did. Not really. Save for shucking her undies, she didn’t strip down. By some miracle, her blouse’s precarious grip on her breasts held firm, so there were no bouncing lady bits to enjoy, no pornographic images to lust after. It was all very simple. The Madam bathed me, sprinkled me with a few herbs, and lit a number of candles. Then she just did her thing. Mind you, her thing consisted of screaming a string of foreign words peppered with obscenities and commanding heaven and hell to bend to her will, all while she …

Well, you get the idea.

Up to this point in my pathetic life, I had never seen a woman have an orgasm. Sure, like any red-blooded American boy, I fooled around with porn, but I had never seen a real live woman, up close, reach that final state of ecstasy. Not until the night I first saw Madam Sangrail come.

It started with a low sound in her chest, an animal snarl from somewhere even deeper, more primal than her bestial laugh. The sound rolled up her throat until she was grunting and growling and groaning. She grabbed her breasts, squeezing them through her tight blouse as she worked her magic, until her crescendo of groans changed to a series of delighted cries.

Then it happened.

All at once she arched away from my still form, into a sweet curve of sweat and sex and flesh, and from the look of sheer pleasure on her face I knew she was coming. Well, that and the fact that she glowed, and I don’t mean metaphorically. A bright light radiated from down below, spreading throughout her body, until her whole being shone like the freaking sun. The sight of it was so stunning, so gorgeous that I couldn’t look away even if I wanted to. Which I didn’t.

So there she was, all arched and glowing and shivering and quivering, when she threw her head back to shout, “Now, boy! Get back in here now!”

I heard her words, but their meaning was lost in the fantastic sight of her shimmering orgasm.

“Get back in here now!” she shouted again. “Don’t make me come get you, boy!”

That snapped me to it. I dove for my naked corpse, then all went black.

I returned to the land of the living with the Madam draped across me, her breathing ragged, clipped, like she had just run a marathon. To my surprise, I was still rock hard, not to mention still inside of her. I wiggled my hips, marveling at the sensation of being buried balls-deep in the woman’s puss. It felt good. It felt amazing. Most of all, it felt right. I shifted my hips, pulling out a little before I plunged her depths again. The Madam lifted her head and shone that mile-wide grin down on me.

“So it worked den?” she asked.

“I guess so,” I croaked, my throat as dry as graveyard dirt.

“Good, good,” she said as she relaxed against me again, her breathing evening out. “Sangrail still got da touch.”

“You sound surprised.”

“I wasn’t sure I still had it in me. Been a few years since I did dis sorta thing.”

I pumped her puss again, eager to enjoy this intimacy for as long as she would allow me.

“What’s dis?” she asked, wiggling her ass in return as she sat up again. “Ya ready for more so soon?”

“Why?” I asked. “You ready to stop so soon?” I held the woman by the waist, thrusting myself into her in a slow, steady rhythm. It all came so natural to me, this feeling, these actions, like I had waited my whole life just to please her.

The Madam responded with the sweetest sound I had ever heard: a light feminine moan. It was different from the over-the-top groans the women in porn make, or the businesslike grunting the Madam herself had spouted earlier. This was a gentle, soft sound, as if she were enjoying herself. Which I hoped she was.

Anxious for the full-on sexual experience, I dared to take it a step further. I reached up to unbutton her blouse. She didn’t stop me. Her breasts tumbled free, sans bra, right into my waiting mouth. I sucked and licked each nipple like a newborn at his first feast. All the while, I kept impaling her on my undaunted steel.

“Been a while since Sangrail did dis either,” she said.

“Been never for me,” I said between licks.

“Boy,” she groaned. “Ya got some nerve taking liberties with an old woman. Didn’t ya momma teach ya betta?”

I don’t know whether it was dying, coming back, or losing my virginity at long last, but I felt large and in fucking charge. I looked right up to her, saying, “If you don’t like being fucked by a dead man, then feel free to stop.”

“Ya kiss ya momma with that mouth?”

“Sure, but I don’t fuck her with this cock.” I picked up the pace, bouncing her on my prick in quick bursts. “That’s just for you.”

“Is it now?”

I nodded. “Yes ma’am. I’m yours for as long as I can last.”

Her laughter sent little jolts of pleasure all along my member. “Ya think ya found da holy grail, huh? Boy, ya have no idea what ya found. All stiffed up and no way ta finish.”

“I don’t understand.” I slowed my pace, unsure if she was asking me to stop.

She lowered her lips to my ear to whisper, “Ya can’t climax, child.”

I understood. I didn’t like it, but I understood. “I can’t come?”

Sitting up again, she laughed. “Naw boy. Ya still dead as a can of ham. No blood flow, no ejaculate, no come. Thanks to my mojo, ya’ll stay stiff as a board, but never get the pleasure a' the orgasm. Dem’s da breaks when ya’s undead. I’m sorry, son.” Her grin suggested she was anything but sorry.

After a moment’s pause, I grinned back and resumed pummeling her.

Wrapping her arms around my shoulders, she hung on as best she could, her breasts bobbing in my face, begging to be touched. “Whoa boy, didn’t ya hear me?”

I grunted in assent as I tongued her nipples.

“Then what’s all the fuss about?” she asked, her question punctuated by squeals of pleasure.

“I can’t come,” I said between thrusts. “But you can. And if I have my way, you’re gonna come every minute of every hour of every day for the rest of your life.” I emphasized each ‘every’ with a thrust of my cock into her puss.

“Ya crazy kid.” The Madam tried to dismount, but I held her firm in place, forcing her to ride me.

“No, I’m just making up for lost time.”

She stared at me with wide eyes, her impish grin melting into a look of outright confusion. “What’s come over ya?”

“You did.”

She tried to roll off of me again. “Ya don’t know what ya saying.”

I pulled her back onto me in a rough jerk. Cupping her face in my hands, I forced her to look me dead in the eye. Every pun intended.

“Your orgasm was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen,” I said, still rolling my hips against her. “I always thought sex was a waste of time, a waste of energy. I always thought it was a race to see who could get their rocks off first. Why worry about complicating things with a partner when I could do that on my own? But I was wrong. I didn’t know how beautiful it could be. I wasted my whole life on books and facts and figures, when such a gorgeous thing was right there waiting to be …” I paused to squeeze one of her breasts for emphasis, “… grabbed.”

She searched my face for the hidden meaning in my words. She couldn’t find one, because there wasn’t one. “Ya’re crazy. Ya know that?”

“Why am I crazy? Because I want to satisfy you? Because I want to make you climax over and over so I can just bask in the glory of it? Then yes, I’m crazy. It doesn’t matter if I can’t come as long as I can be a part of it when you do. Please, let me make you come again.”

She thought about it for a moment, then bucked against me, letting out a guttural sound I would come to know well. “Crazy me harder boy, Sangrail ain’t got all night.”

As they say, her wish was my command.

Chapter Two

The successful claim,

“You can sleep when you’re dead.”

They are wrong.

After she spent half the night riding my eternal erection, the Madam fell into a deep sleep, while I was left wide awake. Filled with nervous energy, I didn’t know what to do with myself. Thinking back on it, I could have left, could have wandered off into the night to seek my fortune, to shape my own afterlife. I could have, but I didn’t. On some level I felt tied to the Madam. I suppose I felt indebted to her for raising me. Not to mention the fact that the death of my body hadn’t killed my hunger for learning. Needless to say, physics no longer made it into my top ten study topics. I decided against rifling through her things for answers to my many questions. I was still plenty na├»ve, but I knew enough to resist the temptation to snoop around the home of a woman who was powerful enough to bring a guy back from the dead.

Instead I settled for getting a good look at myself. My body was blotchy, my torso splotched with weird uneven bruising, and I was curious to see how the old mug had held up. I found a full-length mirror hanging in the main hall, drew a deep breath in preparation, then chanced a glance. I was surprised that I didn’t look half as dead as I was supposed to be. Staring back from the glass was this naked ginger kid, all pale and mottled, with a blue tint to his mouth, his tongue and his raging hard-on. My eyes were an odd yellow. Even the irises, which used to be green, now sported a dull sheen of amber. I didn’t look dead so much as sickly.

Most importantly, I looked and felt very much alive.

With nothing better to do, I used the next few hours to mull over the fact that I was dead, or rather undead, as the Madam labeled me. What did that mean? I wasn’t sure how different I was from the living. I felt like a man reborn, and maybe I was. I wasn’t concerned about school or my future anymore. I wasn’t bothered about what tomorrow might bring. I just didn’t care. I thought about my family for a moment, but even their memory couldn’t raise more than a twinge of sympathy from me. No longer did I have to work so hard to please mother or wonder if I was impressing dad. I was free from all of that.

Beyond it.

Above it.

To top that off, all of my inhibitions seemed to have fled with my life. Every doubt, every worry, every niggling reservation, hesitation or vacillation that had ever troubled me was gone. Erased. I was almost numb with confidence. This freedom from fear forced me to take further stock of my situation. How else did I differ now that I was no longer alive?

I could still breathe, though I wasn’t sure I needed to.

I could see, though my eyes were as dry as bone.

I could hear; nothing had changed there.

I could taste; after licking my ebony goddess from head to toe, I was sure of that.

I could … and that was when it hit me.

I couldn’t smell.

I sniffed the air, drawing deep breaths until my nose ached from the effort. In a house that was sure to reek of exotic herbs and spices, I couldn’t pick up a single scent. Nothing.

My sense of touch, however, was heightened. I felt every little ripple of pleasure, of pain, with acute awareness. The texture of the seat registered a fine, hairline weave against my bare rump. My feet picked out the uneven knots in the boards that made up the floor beneath the shag carpet. Like a tactile echo, I could still feel the Madam under my hands, her sweet flesh in my palms, her body temperature rising around my cock as she crested through each orgasm.

A smile crept to my lips as I replayed our three-hour romp in my mind. My first time. I always had a sneaking suspicion I would see this side of the grave before a woman would want to make out with me for any length of time, much less fuck me like an animal for three solid hours. I fisted my cock as I reminisced about her midnight delight of a body, only to stop when I remembered it was a wasted effort. She was right about one thing. I couldn’t come. Three hours of slam-bam-thank-you-ma’am, and not once did I pop my cork.

But she sure did.

Each time she climaxed I wallowed in her majesty like a little piggy in the cool mud on a hot summer’s day. I know it sounds sycophantic, but most of the time it never occurred to me that I should get a turn to come. I was just that pleased each and every time she did. There was something else about it too. Every time she came, it satisfied more than just my ego. It reassured me, made me whole or put me at peace; I didn’t know how to explain it. I just knew that I not only wanted to make her climax again, I felt like I needed to. Like I had to.

After a few hours, I grew tired of contemplating my situation, and opted to entertain myself with my old standby, reading. The Madam had a vast collection of books, the most eclectic array I’d ever seen in one place. The choices ranged from hardcore science fiction to lighthearted romance to Wild West dime store novels. Magazines from every corner of the globe lay stuffed between stacks of books, the contents of which covered every subject from health to beauty to religion to skepticism. There was even one shelf full of both books and magazines that featured what my mother would affectionately have called “smut.” Yet one wall in particular held my interest over the others. The entire wall comprised one wide bookcase crammed with manuscripts dedicated to the occult. I had never thought much about the subject of the supernatural before all of this, but given the circumstances, I decided it was high time I did. Buck-ass naked, I snuggled down in the oversized lounger with an equally oversized book entitled El Libro de los Muertos. I had no idea what it meant, but it looked fascinating. I don’t know how long I sat like that, transfixed by the book, in the parlor of my Madam’s home.

You’ll have to forgive me for using the antiquated term, but ever since I came back from the dead I’m not quite comfortable thinking of it as a living room. A living room sounds so exclusionary, whereas a parlor welcomes everyone.

“Dat book should answer a lot of ya questions,” Madam Sangrail said from the doorway. “It’s da Book of da Dead.”

The sight of her made me forget to breathe for longer than would have been healthy if I still needed the air. Framed by the soft glow of the early morning sun, her body was an hourglass silhouette of dark perfection. She stepped into the parlor, naked as I was. Her fresh-faced beauty was even more stunning than the night before. The woman may have seen several centuries, but the years hadn’t touched that body. I made a mental note to ask her what the secret was, though I doubted she would reveal it.

“What time is it?” I asked.

“Seven in the morning,” she said.

“Wow. I was up all night?”

She nodded.

“I guess I just couldn’t sleep,” I said.

“And ya won’t,” she informed me. “Ya don’t need sleep. Not anymore.”

“Oh.” As I said, I had a lot to learn about being dead. “Well that’s handy. I guess.”

“Ya been sittin’ thar like dat all night?”

“Yeah.”

“Why?”

“I didn’t know what else to do. You fell asleep, so I thought I should wait.”

She pulled a robe from of the back of the couch, slipping it around her as she sat on the ottoman across from me. “What were ya waitin’ on?”

“I don’t know. For you to tell me what to do now, I guess.”

Looking away from me, she sighed.

“What is it?” I asked.

“I don’t know what ta do with ya,” she said.

I reached forward to caress her inner thigh. “I know what you can do with me.”

She smacked my hand away. “Not now boy. Sangrail is tryin’ ta think.”

I obeyed and sat back. A worried look flitted across her face, leaving behind a tired shadow, a hint of her true age. Even though I scarcely knew the woman, it pained me to see her hurt.

“This ain’t easy,” she said. “This ain’t how it supposed ta work.”

“How does it usually work?” I asked.

“Usually, I get de worst kinds in here. Men and women who done all kinds of bad. I get paid big ta bring ‘em back, so dey share some last secret or whatever. After dat, da folks who dragged ‘em up here go away and I’m left with a walking corpse ta do my bidding.”

I trailed my fingers across her thigh again. “I want to do your bidding. I’m yours to command.”

“Not like dat. I mean pullin’ weeds or doin’ ma laundry or servin’ as a sacrifice so I can quiet dat seventh-level demon I got tied up in da backyard.”

“I see.” I sat back, drumming my fingers on the arm of the chair. My lust-fueled existence as an undead sex slave to a drop-dead gorgeous Tantric sorceress vanished in a puff of self-pity. Yet I supposed I still owed her. I cleared my throat before I weighed in on it. “Not exactly what I had in mind, but I’d be glad to help out. Maybe not with the demon thing though, if that’s okay?”

She furrowed her brow, her dark coffee eyes looking to the ceiling as if seeking help from above. “Ya see? Ya see how hard ya makin’ dis on me? Ya supposed to be a bad boy, but ya not. Ya nice, Petar. Ya a nice boy. I ain’t never raised no one nice. Now I don’t know what ta do about it.”

“Well, what do you want to do with me?”

“I don’t know. Look at ya. Ya were just a kid. A nice, good kid. Ya were gonna make a fine husband for some lucky lady one day, and dat got ripped from ya most unfairly.” She stared at me, her eyes wide with anger and frustration. “Da world ain’t fair, Petar. It ain’t fair at all. Someone so good shoulda never got mixed up wit me.”

“To be honest,” I said. “I haven’t always been like this. I never put anyone else first in my life. I was always obsessed with school, with being the perfect student, the perfect son. But your magic saved me. I got a second shot at … at life, and I have you to thank.”

“Don’t be so quick ta thank me. Any good ya do is all on ya, Petar. My kind of magic don’t turn people nice.”

“Maybe, but your magic brought it out in me. I’m a new man because of—”

“Ya don’t get it, boy!” she shouted.

I fell quiet.

“Dis won’t last,” she said, softer this time. “Ya won’t stay like dis.” She waved her hand at me.

“Like this?” I patted my naked body in a few places, trying to work out the meaning of her words.

“Ya a zombie now.” She looked away as if shamed by the words. “Do ya even know what dat means?”

I shook my head. Aside from Hollywood theatrics, I was clueless.

As it turned out, Hollywood theatrics weren’t far from right.

“First of all,” she said, “ya ain’t nothing but walking meat now. Walking, rotting meat.”

My eyes widened. “You mean …”

“Ya gonna set ta decayin’, and soon.”

The image of my body crumbling, falling apart like so much wet sand threatened to crush my mind with madness. “I don’t want to rot!”

“Dat ain’t da half of it.”

“Ain’t the half of it? For heaven’s sake! What could possibly be worse than full-on, cognizant decomposition?”

Returning her dark eyes to me, she took on a deep brooding look that told me I would regret asking. “Petar, ya gonna get a powerful hunger. A hunger so raw, so all-consuming dat no normal fare will ever touch it. Ya can eat ‘n’ eat ‘n’ eat, but you’ll never getcha fill. Only one thing will satisfy dis hunger. I think ya know what I’m talkin’ about.”

I did. Swallowing hard, I decided to ask anyway. “Human flesh?”

The Madam nodded. “I’m surprised ya belly ain’t rumblin’ right now.”

I rubbed my stomach, but it kept silent, as did I. I didn’t want to know how she fed her previous creations.

“I’m sorry,” she said. “For da first time in my life, I really am sorry. I’ve done so many bad things, ta so many people, but I’ll always regret bringing you back da most.”

We sat in silence for a little while, her shaking her shaggy head, me staring at her, willing her to offer me some guidance.

“What are you going to do with me?” I finally asked, though I had an uncomfortable suspicion.

She looked away again, and said, “Ya gotta go.”

“Where?”

“Back from whar ya came.”

I closed my eyes on the hideous thought. I didn’t want to go back. Not now, not after I had so much more to live for. And I wasn’t just thinking about sex, although admittedly that was a part of it. The Madam brought me back with a thirst for life, for love, for everything I’d once deemed a waste of time. I didn’t want to die. I wanted to live.

“I don’t want to go,” I said. “I want to stay. With you.”

“Ya gotta, Petar. I don’t think I can stomach watching ya fall apart at da seams, boy. Not after ya were so good ta me. Too good. I ain’t had someone care so much about ma satisfaction in more years than I care ta say.” She smiled a weak, sad little smile. “Ya know, if ya didn’t have those boys to back ya up, I’d have thought ya a liar about being a virgin. Ya gave this old witch a run fer her dollar, dat’s fur sure.”

“See?” I asked, snatching up her hands. “That’s what I mean. I never thought about sex before all of this, now I only want to please you. I just want to stay here and make you happy. Isn’t there anything you can do to keep me here? Keep me whole?”

“It ain’t that easy, boy.”

“You mean as easy as raising the dead? Surely a witch as powerful as you can handle this. Hell, you conquered death, woman. How can this bag of rotting meat be a challenge after that?”

Her ego stroked, she smiled a little wider. “I don’t know if I can.”

I could feel her confidence bouncing back, so I pushed down a little harder on the compliment accelerator. “Come on now,” I said, my thumbs tracing little circles on her smooth skin. “Surely a woman who shines like the sun when she comes is bound to know a spell that can keep a kid like me from falling apart.”

Yanking her hands from mine, the Madam shot to her feet. She stared down her nose at me, her eyes fierce with a fiery anger. “What did ya just say?”

There was a line somewhere that I had crossed with my words. I only wished I knew when and where. “Surely you can help me?”

“Naw, the other part.”

“What part?”

“Ya know which damned part, boy!”

I cocked my head at her. “You glow when you come?”

Something happened then, something that I would never see happen again. Had I known enough at the time, I would have grabbed a camera. But again, I’m getting ahead of myself. What happened that morning was simple but more profound than I knew.

Madam Sangrail’s jaw dropped.

Her mouth fell open, and she stood there in the early morning light and gaped at me like I had grown an extra head. Considering she had no problem conversing with a dead man, I couldn’t imagine what I had said that had her so upset.

“What?” I asked.

She kept on gawking in silence, eyes bulging, mouth hanging open. The picture of surprise.

“What!” I yelled.

The Madam closed her mouth, and said, in a very calm voice, “Tell me what ya seen, exactly.”

“I see you light up like a fluorescent lamp when you orgasm.”

“How long have ya been able ta do this?”

“Do what? I still don’t know what I’m doing wrong.”

She smiled. “Nothing wrong, boy. Nothing wrong at all. Now tell Sangrail how long ya’ve been seeing the power?”

“You mean the light? Never. Not until you raised me. I figured it was part of your mojo, or hoodoo, or whatever you call it.”

The Madam turned away, leaving me sitting alone in the parlor as she walked to her boudoir in silence. I wanted to follow her, but suspected my best bet was to stay put. A series of muffled noises reached me from her room. Before long, the Madam returned, carting a videocassette case. She opened the movie case, turning to look at me once more before loading the tape into the VCR that was hooked to the television set in the corner. After all of this, she once again returned to my side, remote in tow, motioning for me to scoot over and share the chair.

The TV lit up with a logo I knew I’d seen before for a studio that sounded very familiar. We got to the movie’s title before I remembered where I had seen that logo before. It was one of Mooch’s favorite film companies. And Mooch’s favorite films fell into the “adult” category. I had borrowed from his extensive library on many a lonely Saturday night. I never could work up the nerve to man up and buy my own. Sure enough, big as life across the screen were the words Anal Beauties, Anal Beasts, Number Six.

It was my turn for some jaw dropping, which I did, posthaste.

“What?” she asked. “Can’t an old lady enjoy a little porno without ya gettin' all moody about it?”

“I don’t know what disturbs me more,” I said. “The fact that you own a copy of ‘Anal Beauties, Anal Beasts,’ or the fact that they made six of them.”

“Seventeen.”

“What?”

“They’re up ta seventeen. This is just ma favorite.”

I smiled at the idea of her having a favorite porno. Then the show started and my eyes bulged at the explosion of flesh and fetish. I should explain that the reason Mooch favored this line of flicks was that the company specialized in what he called PWP porn.

Plot? What Plot?

A string of sex scenes rolled one after another across the screen, and a succession of young, lithe ladies looked far too happy about getting their asses slammed by cocks so large they made my butt cheeks clench at the sight.

The Madam eyed me as I squirmed in place. “Calm down, boy. Like you ain’t never seen this sort a’ thing. Now, ya being a virgin I can buy. Ain’t ya fault ya was shyer than a newborn kitten in a pen o’ pups. But ta have a friend like Moochy and never seen a skin flick? I doubt it.”

“No ma’am,” I said. “I’ve just never watched it with another person in the room. Much less a woman.”

“I’d suspect not.”

The Madam pressed a button on the remote, and the film rocketed forward, sperm splashing asses at hurricane speeds. After a bit she settled on the steaming hot image of a waifish raven-haired beauty taking it up one end, while another dark-haired lovely hovered over her, servicing the first girl orally while getting her pussy banged at the same time. While I enjoyed the show, I didn’t understand what the Madam was playing at.

“As much as I appreciate it,” I said. “I don’t think I need porn to get hard. See?” I waggled my ever-ready prick at her.

She wasn’t amused. “Shut up and pay attention, boy.”

The scene rolled on for a little while with the usual director-driven grunting and humping. The slap of flesh on flesh boomed from the stereo system, underscored by well rehearsed moaning and cries of, “Yeah, bitch! Take it all!” Even as orchestrated as it all was, it was still very arousing. If I weren’t already stiff by nature, the virtual nurture of the anal beauties would have done it for sure.

“Here now,” the Madam said. “Watch this.”

As the Madam pointed to the screen, the actress on the bottom of the sex pile went tense, threw her arms around her lady lover and shouted, “Yes! Make me come!”

“There,” the Madam said. “What do ya see?”

I shrugged. “A woman paid to have sex?”

“Ya don’t see the light?” There was a tinge of disappointment in her voice.

“No. Should I?”

“I was hoping—”

The Madam was cut short by a loud, satisfied groan. We both turned back to the TV just as the topmost actress buckled against her partners. The woman’s puss went nova with brilliance. Wincing, I shaded my eyes from the radiance. Behind my hand, the actress shrieked with pleasure while downtown my cock twitched at the sound of her joy, aching to experience it with her.

The Madam didn’t have to ask what I was seeing. She looked down at my thumping hard-on, and smiled wide.

“This makes no sense,” I said. “Why would I see a light from you, and her, but not the other woman?” I looked back to the screen in time to see one of the men shoot off in a sputter of sparkling lights. I winced, half because of the brightness, half out of habit. I never did enjoy watching the almighty money shot. “And him,” I added.

“Makes perfect sense ta me,” she said. “The first one was faking.”

She was right. That did make perfect sense. I felt kind of foolish for not thinking of it myself.

“But what is it?” I asked. “I’ve seen a few of these films in my time, but I never saw this before.” As the words left my lips, I realized I sounded like a porn-obsessed loser, which wasn’t far from the truth. I commenced backpedaling. “Not that I watched a whole lot of porn when I was alive, but still, the women never glowed. That much I remember.”

“I’ll get ya in a minute, boy. Now tell me what ya see here.”

Scene after scene we sat through, the Madam critiquing the performances of the actors with a strange detachment that suggested she had seen this film way too may times. She took great joy in guessing when the women were faking, and with surprising accuracy. Meanwhile, I just sat back and watched the light show. Some orgasms shone like rare jewels, others like distant stars, while some barely put off enough light to register as the real deal. The whole time, my cock ached to be a part of it, like it was greedy for their satisfaction. For anyone’s satisfaction. It was much deeper than mere physical arousal.

My hand wandered to the Madam’s thigh again.

This time she didn’t flinch.

“This making ya hungry, boy?” she asked.

“It’s making me something,” I said as I loosened her robe.

She let the silk slip from her shoulders. “But is it making ya hungry? Do ya want ta feed?”

“Yes,” I said as I lowered my mouth to her neck. “I want to feed.”

Her flavor exploded on my tongue like fresh rain on an arid land. The Madam arched into my touch, cooing as my lips met her tender flesh. I growled, as did my stomach. Tracing my tongue down her neck, I buried my face in her cleavage. My body, my bones, my very spirit ached with the need of her nourishment. I had to have her, on my cock, in my mouth, down my throat.

I was ravenous for her.

“I could eat you alive, woman,” I growled.

“Dat’s da hunger,” she whispered.

As if agreeing with her, my stomach rolled again.

When I realized what she meant, I pushed her away. It was hard, so damned hard, but somehow I managed to scramble off the couch and across the room to spare her my growing appetite. But it was useless; even from a few feet away I could feel her life racing through her veins, begging me to pounce on her and take it for my own. My guts griped louder as I clutched my stomach.

“You need ta feed,” she said.

“I don’t want to be this!” I shouted. “Kill me or let me die again or whatever. Just don’t let me—” The hunger cut my words short, twisting my guts in empty pain, driving me to my knees.

“Let me help ya,” she said as she stood. Then, horror of horrors, she walked toward me. Why wasn’t she running away?

“Get away! Please, I don’t want to hurt you.”

Her low laughter soothed me, but it wasn’t enough. “Hurt me? Boy, if ya ain’t the damnedest thing on two legs. Now, git back over here and let Sangrail help ya.” She held her arms wide, giving me a glorious view of her nude, Nubian body. All that dark meat, just for me.

That was all it took.

I couldn’t control myself. Snarling like some wild animal I lunged for her, snapping at her throat, at her breasts, at her belly. She artfully dodged my attacks with a grace that belied her years. All at once I found myself pinned underneath her, that feral grin spread across her gorgeous face.

“Hold still, boy,” she commanded.

I writhed beneath her, struggling to get free, my jaws clenched in a desperate effort to not tear out her supple throat, until I was overpowered by the sensation of her wet puss lowering onto my cock. With a whimper, I fell still, savoring the experience of her, but afraid of what I might become if she let me run wild.

“Hang on, Petar,” she whispered. “This shouldn’t take long.” She rocked against me in a quick rhythm, stroking herself on the full length of my cock while managing to keep my arms and legs pinned under her.

I realized then that she wasn’t watching me. She was watching the television, or rather, the porn. The Madam focused on the images that flitted across the screen, on the pounding flesh and bouncing breasts. She bucked against me faster, driving herself down on my cock, all to the tune of some blonde getting her ass pummeled by a strap-on.

Soon, a low groan met my ears. At the familiar sound of it, all of my craving for a quick, bloody meal fled straight to my prick. I fucked the Madam in return, shoving myself into her, drawing another groan then a growl as I repeated the process. The hunger cascaded down, shifting from my guts to my groin, until it lodged in my cock. I was no longer ravenous for just her flesh.

I was starving for her orgasm.

As if sensing the change, the Madam let me free. I gathered her to me and held her tight, eager to feel her living skin against mine. She moaned as my fingers wandered her landscape, her face, her breasts, her ass. The Madam pushed a nipple to my lips, seeking my tongue, maybe even my teeth, but I turned my head away.

“Sangrail thought ya liked dem,” she pouted.

“I do,” I said as I continued to thrust into her. “I love them. I just don’t trust myself.”

She narrowed her eyes at me.

I smiled. “I worry you might taste so good I won’t be able to stop at just a lick.”

“It’s da hunger all right.” She laughed aloud. “Ya don’t worry none. Sangrail know just what you need.”

She snatched one of my wandering hands and pushed it between our writhing bodies, guiding it down. My fingers slipped past her dark thatch, into her silken puss, landing square on a swollen nub. Her clit. With a pretty good idea of what she wanted, thanks only to the porn industry, I wiggled my fingers against her. She groaned in response. Like a kid with a new toy, I rolled her over, excited to get at this sweet spot. She squealed when I touched her there again, raising her hips to meet my grazing fingers. Taking that as a good thing, I resumed my thrusts while flicking my thumb across her sensitive pussy.

“Yes, Petar,” she gasped. “Ya learn fast. Dat feels so good.”

“If it feels so good,” I said, “then why didn’t you have me do this last night?”

She shuddered a bit before she groaned, “‘Cause it make Sangrail come too fast.” True to her word, she exploded in orgasmic light. I was awash with her beauty, her seduction shining in all the places we touched, bathing me, engulfing me, nurturing me.

Filling me.

From somewhere very far away I heard her say, “Take it in, boy. Feed on it. It will soothe the hunger. The ache. The need.”

And it did. I’ll be damned, but it did. The hunger subsided until it was all but forgotten as she came down from her high, dimming back to an ebony goddess. I was left with a full stomach and a smile on my face.

Sighing in satisfaction, I stretched and wiggled my ever-present erection in her now very wet puss. “That was amazing.”

The Madam was limp beneath me. At first I chalked it up to her first-rate orgasm. I was impressed by my newfound ability to make her come in seconds. It didn’t take long for me to realize she was out, quite literally, like a light.

“Ma’am?” I asked as I poked her still form.

She didn’t respond.

“Madam Sangrail?” I asked.

No response.

Rolling off of her, I got to my knees and patted her face a few times, repeating her name as I did. No luck. A quick check revealed that she hadn’t joined me in the afterlife, but her vitals were as weak as water. The obvious reason leapt to mind: I had overworked the old girl. She might have the body of a twenty year old, but she had the heart of an aged woman. A heart that I just ran to its limits without a second thought. Ashamed at my selfishness, I lifted her from the floor, cradling her limp body to me as I carried her back to her room. There, I placed her in the center of her bed and pondered what I should do next. Calling an ambulance seemed kind of crazy, and I wasn’t sure I was in any state to greet people yet. I was just thinking that maybe all she needed was rest, when she awoke.

Her groan was music to my anxious mind.

“Ma’am,” I said, hovering over her. “Are you okay?”

Her eyelids fluttered a moment then snapped open wide. She looked up at me with a touch of wonder on her face. “Petar.”

“Yes ma’am?”

“Get off me, boy.”

I obeyed.

She sat up, groggy but alive. Shaking her head, she eyed me again. “How long was I out?”

“A few minutes. What just happened?”

“I think ya took ta much of me.”

I was afraid of that. “I’m sorry. Your true age is hard to keep in mind. I forget you’re more fragile than you look.”

She narrowed her eyes to dark bands of anger. “Ya calling me old, boy?”

I swallowed hard, then lied. “No?”

“Good. Besides, it was my own fault. I shoulda explained it first. I just thought showin’ ya might be easier.”

“Showing me?”

“Are ya full now?”

I rubbed my satisfied belly. “Strangely enough, yes I am.” All at once, the meaning of her words sank in. The light. Her orgasm. The hunger. “I fed from you somehow. From your climax. Didn’t I?”

She nodded. “Ya a bright one, Petar.”

“No, I’m not. Because I don’t understand how this is the same as, well, eating people.”

Sangrail chuckled, amused by my confusion. She lay back down, then patted the bed. I obediently curled up beside her, nestling my stiff cock against her warm thigh. Snuggling me up to her, she ran her hands through my hair as she tried to explain.

“When da living eat da dead, dey take in nothin’ but minerals and vitamins and proteins. Chemicals. Chains and chains of chemicals and nothin’ more.”

“I think it’s a bit more complex than that,” I interjected.

“Shut up and let me tell it my way,” she snapped.

I did.

“Now, when da dead feed on da flesh of da living, well dat’s a whole nother beast. Da dead don’t need chemicals, dey ain’t using da ones dey got. What dey take instead is da essence. Dere is power in a person dat flows through da very flesh, and dat power is what da dead crave most. Da life force. Dey stay hungry for it.”

I nodded against her. “The hunger. It was horrible. I wanted to kill you. I wanted to tear you apart with my bare hands. If the life force is the only thing that will sate the hunger, then how …”

“Dere is power in sex, child. Most folks will never know, understand or even begin ta fathom how much power. But dis power, you’ve seen it.”

“The light?”

“Yes. Most folks can’t sense da power, much less see it.”

“Then why do I?”

She shrugged. “Ya must be a natural, boy. I’ve never met a natural Tantric. I’ve heard rumor of it, but until now dat’s all it was. A rumor. Yet here ya are. A natural.”

“A natural,” I echoed. It was a heady thought. I had never been a natural at anything.

The Madam must have heard the conceit in my voice, because she stamped it right out. “Yeah, but don’t let it get ta ya head, boy. I may not be natural, but I got lifetimes of experience ta top ya.”

She was right, of course, but she also sounded a little on this side of jealousy. I decided to drop the subject rather than test her mettle. “So this power in sex, it’s the same type of thing as the life force?”

“It is da life force. Orgasms are da finest expression of life. Think about it, boy. Without da climax, dere would be no life.”

I fell into a quiet awe at her statement. She was a strict mistress, but a wise one. At length, I said, “I think I understand. You’re saying I can feed on the life force through other people’s orgasms instead of consuming human flesh?”

She nodded again. “I guess ya had a taste of the force when I first brought ya back, and now ya hooked on it. Only, ya got ta learn to curb your appetite. Ya nearly drained me dry.”

“I’m sorry. I didn’t know what I was doing.”

“Every lover dies a little when dey come.” She patted my head.

“That’s a nice sentiment, but not every lover becomes a full course meal.”

She laughed, once again soothing my jagged nerves. “Ya’ll get better at it. I’m sure of dat much. Ya just a cub yet. Ya learn ta control dat appetite for my honey, and dis little bee can always make ya more.”

“Can you now?” I asked, cupping her sex. “How long does that take? ‘Cause I like honey on just about everything.” I emphasized my meaning with a quick flick of my tongue across her nipple.

“Don’t be stupid, boy.” Despite her rebuttal, she groaned as I slid a finger into her slick puss and grazed her clit.

Before she could groan again, I realized what she had really said. I pulled away, sat up and turned to stare down at her. “Does this mean I can stay? For a little while at least?”

She closed her eyes. “I can’t believe I’m saying dis, but maybe.”

“Awesome!”

“I said maybe. If we can solve ya other little problem first.”

My sinking dread returned. “The rotting thing.”

“Da rotting thang.”

I sighed, racking my lifeless brain for suggestions, reaching for desperate measures. In the end, sarcasm won. “I don’t suppose this place has air conditioning?”

The Madam opened her eyes to stare up at me as that mischievous smile crept over her crimson lips. “Dat, my boy, is a very interesting idea. A very interesting idea indeed.”



Chapter Three

The trick to being undead,

much like being monogamous,

is keeping everything fresh.

It never struck me, when I was alive, how much a chest freezer is like a coffin. Both are dark and cold and meant to house things that are dead. Only a coffin is hidden away, buried six feet under like some secret shame. Meanwhile the freezer is proudly displayed on many a porch all across the Deep South. Coffins are designed to hold a body, but a freezer can house a full-sized teenager if he bends at the knees and keeps very, very still.

“This isn’t going to work,” I said, eyeing the appliance with distaste.

“Stop ya whinin’,” the Madam said. “It’s only fur a bit.”

I frowned at the freezer, then at her. “What about freezer burn? I don’t want to get damaged. It’s not like I can heal.”

“Ya won’t get nothin’, boy. I’ll keep it turned real low. It’ll be like sleeping in da fridge.”

“Oh isn’t that just swell?” I sneered at her, parking my hands on my hips as I mimicked her thick accent. “Roll me ta da freezer, boy, I’z ready for ma nap.”

I never saw her move. She might have been old, but she was quick. The bite of her slap was accentuated by the sharp ricochet of flesh against flesh. I raised my hand to the echo of her strike, rubbing the stinging spot in disbelief.

Through gritted teeth she growled, “Don’t ya ever, ever talk ta me like dat again, boy. Not in ma house. Not ta me.”

“Yes ma’am,” was all I could manage.

“Rude. Here I thought ya was a nice boy, but ya just as rude as the next one.”

“I’m … I’m sorry.”

“Ya sure are.”

I shoved my hands in my pockets and hung my head in shame.

“I’m not asking ya to spend da rest of ya cursed undead life in da damned thing. Sangrail just want ya ta take a rest in it every now and den. So ya can keep it together while she figure out what ta do witcha. Is dat too much ta ask?”

Embarrassed and ashamed, I shrugged, unable to speak.

“Good den,” she said as she left me frustrated by the freezer. “And stop ya damned pouting. I ain’t impressed. Ya brought dat on ya’self. Ya can’t cry anyway, so it don’t do no good ta sulk.”

My head sank lower.

She grunted then added over her shoulder, “Ya may fuck like a man, but ya act just like a child.”

That last bit stung harder than her blow. I shot her a burning look, but she wasn’t paying attention. She had returned to her sink full of melting groceries.

“Now, what am I gonna do with all dis frozen corn?” she asked, her tone once again pleasant, conversational, as if nothing had happened.

Swallowing my frustration, I opened the freezer and climbed in. We would see who acted like a child, and who acted like a man. The door shut with a soft hush, cutting out the light, sealing me in frozen darkness. With nothing else to do, I settled into counting the seconds, which was my first mistake. Come to think of it, my first mistake was trying to show up that old biddy by climbing into the damned freezer. I didn’t get as far as ten before I wanted out. I had never considered myself to be claustrophobic, but in the black empty of that cold box, I understood what it truly meant.

I wanted to show the Madam how much of a man I was, but I couldn’t stand the freezer’s cold embrace, the silence, the denial. Being in the freezer was too much like being in the grave. Panicking at the thought, I pushed against the lid, but the airtight seal wouldn’t budge from my side. I was trapped. Swallowing my pout as well as my pride, I beat on the side of the appliance for the Madam’s help.

“Madam!” I shouted.

No answer.

“Let me out!” I yelled. “I can’t do this!”

She asked, in a muffled voice, “What was dat?”

“Let me out!”

“Let ya out, what?”

I rolled my yellow eyes in their dry sockets. What a time for a lesson in manners. Yet, it was her house, so I had to play by her rules. Otherwise, no more honey for me.

“Let me out, please?” I begged.

A band of light fell across my face as she lifted the lid.

I stared up at her, putting on my best pitiful look. “I can’t do this. Please. Don’t make me.”

Peering down at me, she asked, “Is it really all dat bad?”

“I can’t do this, ma’am. It’s like being buried alive. I’m … I’m not strong enough.”

She lifted her face enough to let me see her grin, then returned to peeking through the slim opening. “Ya much stronger than ya think, boy.”

“Maybe, but I don’t know if I’m ready for this.”

I could tell from her narrowing eyes that she had lost the grin.

“Whar you from, boy?” she asked.

I was confused by the question but glad the talk was moving away from the freezer. “North Carolina, ma’am.”

“First time ta Louisiana?”

“Yes?”

“Well then, since ya new ta da state of Louisiana let me ask ya something. Ya ever seen snow in da swamp?”

I saw where she was headed, and I didn’t like it one bit. “No, ma’am.”

“That’s cuz it don’t snow in da swamps. Don’t ice neither. Best weather we get in winter is a dip down ta sixty before it climb back ta seventy again. Now, ya the one with the studyin’. Would ya like ta tell me what happens ta raw meat left out in seventy-degree weather for three months?”

“It spoils,” I said, then sighed.

“It sure does. Would ya like ta guess how hot it gets here in high summer?”

“Okay. I get the point.”

“Do ya now? ‘Cause I don’t think ya really do. Ya want ta stay whole? Or would ya rather start leavin’ bits of ya’self all over my house? Maybe that pecker of ya’s be da first ta go? Yes?”

I flinched, grabbing the bulge of my stiff cock through my jeans with a hiss. “Geesh. Don’t hold back. Why don’t you tell me what you really think?”

She chuckled. “Truth is best. Always. Ya do good ta remember dat, boy.”

“Yes ma’am. Can I come out now? Just for a bit?”

The Madam looked up for a moment, as if considering the question. She settled on “No.” And with that she slammed the lid on me.

“Sangrail!” I shouted. “Don’t leave me in here!”

Through gasps of muted laughter she said, “Ya gotta get used to it sometime, boy. No time like da present.” Then her muffled cackle faded, as she moved away, leaving me trapped in my frozen cell.

She was right, damn it, but that didn’t make it any easier for me.

“Sangrail!” I shouted.

I went on like that for a bit, shouting like a madman until my throat went dry. I stopped when I realized she was probably accustomed to much worse sounds than some trapped kid screaming from her freezer. There would be no sympathy for me from a woman such as that.

Instead, I focused on the darkness of the freezer, and how it seemed very much like a sensory deprivation tank. I had written a paper about the tanks as part of a psych class my freshman year. Though I didn’t have the nerve to experience one—perhaps I’d always had more of a problem with claustrophobia than I cared to admit—I imagined the cool darkness surrounding me was similar to what a tank might feel like.

In my research, I learned that folks used the tanks to remove all distractions, stilling their racing thoughts along the way, giving their minds a chance to turn inward. They meditated, or contemplated, or just relaxed and enjoyed the time away from the world. I settled for a little inner reflection, afraid that if I relaxed too much I might freeze solid. While I didn’t mind a permanent stiffy, being stiff all over would have been too much for me. I turned my attention to the problem of regaining the Madam’s trust. Trying to discern the exact moment I angered her, I replayed my argument with the Madam, latching onto her final phrase.

No time like the present.

I turned the idea of it over in my mind, amazed by its simplistic insight. It became my first mantra in a long line of unforgettable quotes. There really was no time like the present, the here, the now. It was all the time we had, all we were going to get. The phrase had a deeper meaning for me, someone who had landed the rare opportunity to take a second shot at the present.

“No time like the present,” I whispered.

The cool darkness didn’t answer me.

“No time like the present,” I repeated.

A low hum rose from the compressor as a fresh burst of cool air raced over my face. I had to admit, the cold was comforting. In fact, the longer I stayed in the freezer, the further my temperature dropped, the more relaxed I felt. The knots in my muscles unwound, despite the cramped quarters, and even my skin seemed to sit easier.

“No time like the present,” I whispered again.

Then, I rested.

Allow me to clarify that I did not sleep. The Madam was right; I would never need sleep again. But those first few hours in the deep freeze taught me that I would need to rest. I might not physically grow tired, or wear out like a living person, but I could, and did, suffer from mental fatigue. Being fresh from the dead, new to sex, and overwhelmed by the whole Tantric thing, I supposed my mind was about as fatigued as it could get.

So, I grew still and at long last achieved the rest and relaxation I’d been craving when I died.

I won’t relate the things I saw as my mind wandered that first time. They were very much like the dreams one has while sleeping, only these images were more vivid, more alive. Waking dreams, I would come to call them, and I would also come to treasure them, because they were the only things that were truly mine.

Even when I was at my lowest, I still had my waking dreams.

The Madam’s voice came to me from some far-off place. “Petar?”

My wandering mind spiraled back to my undead body, jolting me into the moment. It took me a few seconds to realize that I had closed my eyes during my rest, in the perfect mimic of sleep. I opened them and looked up at her. The Madam had the chest lid opened wide, staring down at me with equally wide eyes.

“Petar?” she asked again. “Ya okay, boy?”

“No,” I croaked.

“No?”

“I’m not okay.” I smacked my lips a few times, trying to work the feeling of cotton from my mouth. My time in the freezer had left me very dry, as well as very contrite.

“What’s wrong with ya?”

I stammered as I tried to find the words that lay on my heart. “I’m … I’m … I’m remorseful.”

The Madam exhaled a long sigh of relief. “Goodness child, I thought something serious was wrong with ya.”

“There was something seriously wrong with me,” I said as I sat up. “I shouldn’t have spoken to you like that. I’m very sorry.”

She snorted. “Well, ya seem ta have learned ya lesson. Took ya long enough.”

“How long was it?”

“Six hours, give or take a few minutes.”

“Wow, I didn’t think I’d last that long.”

“Sangrail told ya, ya is stronger than ya think.” She held out her hand, her palm warm against mine. “Still, I’m sorry I forced ya into it.”

“No, don’t be. I needed the rest.” I climbed out with her help, glad to be free from the vault even though it was time well spent. “I feel better now. More focused. More in control. I promise I won’t lash out at you again.”

Closing the lid with a short laugh, she said, “Promises, promises.” She turned away, throwing up her hands in exasperation. “Boy, if promises were pecans, I’d be fat off pies.”

Pulling her to me, I hugged her from behind, kissing the nape of her neck with cool lips. Her skin prickled, shivering against my mouth as I said, “And if I had my way I’d be fat off honey.” Lowering my hand to the front of her skirt, I pressed my cold palm over her warm honey pot.

“Hungry so soon?” she asked, pushing my hand tighter against her.

“I’m always hungry for you,” I said. My stomach burbled, but I felt nothing like the ravenous craving that had possessed me earlier. I pushed the voracity away, drawing instead on a well of desire as I clutched her through her skirt.

“I got something ta show ya.”

“A new way to please you?”

“Listen ta ya.” Wiggling free, she turned to face me. “Butter wouldn’t melt in ya mouth now. Ya do learn fast, doncha?”

I feigned shyness, lowering my eyes, twisting my toe on her kitchen linoleum as I said, “I try.”

“That ya do.”

“What did you want to show me?”

“On ya knees, boy.”

I lowered myself before her in an attitude of supplication, on my knees with my face raised, eager to learn what surprise she had in store for me. “I’m at your mercy.”

The Madam only smiled, then lifted her skirts waist high, exposing herself to me. Although I had seen her bare puss several times over the last few hours, I had yet to see her in underwear. At first glance, the notion struck me that the old saying is true. Less is more. The image of her thinly clad pleasure was more erotic that any nude photograph or wild adult film had ever been. Her panties were a soft, silky red, a brush of color against an ebony background, cut high on her broad hips with a narrow band of lace tracing the edges all around. Between her legs, form-fitted against the slope of her body, a silken crimson wisp just concealed her dark thatch. Stray tufts of black curled around the lacy edges, hinting at the beauty underneath, driving me wild with want.

I was stunned into silence.

“Well?” she asked, shaking her skirts. They fluttered around her hips in ripples, an undulating fabric frame for her stunning work of art. “What da ya think?”

“You’re beautiful,” I said, never lifting my gaze from her display.

“Ya ta kind, Petar,” she said. “Been a while since I had reason ta wear such a thing. I nearly forgot I owned ‘em. I’m glad ya like it.”

“Like it? I love it.”

“Well, don’t just kneel thar on ceremony. Ya hungry? Help ya’self.”

At this I forced my gaze to her face, almost embarrassed to admit my confusion, my inexperience. “I don’t know what I’m supposed to do.”

She smiled wider. “I think ya know, boy.”

I smiled with her. I guess I did know. I just wasn’t sure how, much less where, to start.

Sensing my reservations, as usual, the Madam instructed me. “Ya can start by taking ma panties off.”

I shuddered at her words, aroused to the point of frantic madness.

It dawned on me then that in our few sessions together we had yet to breach the act of foreplay. I had awoken buried in her prize, and returned there each time without any play, fore or otherwise, but always at her guidance. Truthfully, I didn’t think I was missing much, having heard from many a male friend what a waste of time foreplay was, how it was all for the girl, or how women were nothing but bitches for demanding that extra bit of attention.

Those lies couldn’t have been further from the truth.

There was an unspoken poetry in the motion of hooking her underwear between my fingers, in slipping them down past her hips, past her stomach, past her groin. There was music in the catch of my breath as her glistening puss came into view, splendor in the soft kiss I planted on her thigh as the silk pooled at her feet. There was exquisite grace to that last shimmy and kick as she stepped out of her panties and stood bare before me.

I paused, lifting my face to her again, anxious for more instruction.

“Come on, boy,” she teased. “Ya seen enough and read enough ta know what comes next.”

“I’m nervous,” I confessed. “I don’t want to do it wrong.”

Her laughter washed over me, a light understanding chuckle. “Just do what feels right, what feels good. There ain’t naw wrong when it come ta makin’ love, Petar.”

I blinked as her words lingered in my ears.

Making.

Love.

Peter.

I had never thought I would hear my name and those words in the same sentence.

Yet still I hesitated, staring at her pussy as if it were the first time I had seen one. I didn’t know where my reservation was coming from. My cock twitched in my jeans, aching to join with her again, eager to do what it thought felt right. My stomach rumbled, warning me that if I didn’t get down to it, then doing what felt good would get a whole lot bloodier.

“Go on,” she said. “I’m sure ta like whatever ya do.”

The honesty of her encouragement was enough, as it reminded me that my ultimate goal was her pleasure and her pleasure alone. Nothing else was relevant. No matter how much it ached or grumbled.

I leaned forward, nuzzling my face against her warm thigh. Her skin rippled with gooseflesh in all the places my cold flesh touched her. Parting her knees with a nudge of my nose, I kissed and licked my way up to the join of her legs. I stopped to blow a cool breath against her mound, her ensuing coo signaling that I was on the right track. I lowered my mouth to press a small kiss against her pussy.

“That’s nice,” she said. “Keep going.”

I pressed my mouth against her again, this time dipping my tongue just inside her sex. She was moist and hot against my chilled, dry tongue. In slow strokes I lapped up her desire, prodding her deeper with each plunge. The Madam shuddered around my mouth, moaning in soft sighs of pleasure. I wrapped a hand around her thigh, holding her legs wider apart as my other hand cradled her ass.

She hissed. “So cold.”

I pulled away. “Too cold?”

“No, it’s nice. Don’t stop.”

Green-lit and greedy, I returned my mouth to her warmth, sucking and licking as deep as my tongue and her depth would allow. All the while the Madam squirmed above me, squealing and sighing as I tongued her. At length, I found that parting her pussy with my fingers allowed me more access, deeper penetration, which seemed to trip all of her triggers. She shuddered as I fucked her deep with nothing but my tongue, her puss contracting and relaxing around each stroke like the muscle were a tiny cock.

Speaking of which, my own sex was thumping with expectation, pushing against my fly as if trying to burst through the seams. I may not have had any blood flow, but the slightest arousal seemed to bring my prick to a life of its own, leaving it throbbing despite my lack of heartbeat. I unzipped my jeans, setting my cold cock free with a great sigh of relief on my part, then set to jacking it as I returned my attention to the Madam. She placed her hands on the back of my head, guiding my strokes from quick to slow, hard to soft, while running her fingers through my hair. Her legs shook on either side of my head, her knees weak from the effort of holding her awkward position.

We went on like that for a few minutes, my mouth latched to her pussy as she shivered and moaned, my hand fisting my cock as her sultry cries aroused me more. When she grabbed my hair to the root, I knew she was close to an orgasm. I panicked, worried that if I didn’t have my cock in there to catch it, I would miss my meal. I tried to raise up, to shift into a missionary position, but the Madam would have none of that. Gathering my hair in one great, tight handful, she pressed my face harder against her puss. While I enjoyed being nose deep in her, I was also glad at that moment that I didn’t need to breathe.

“For fuck’s sake, boy!” she cried. “Don’t stop now!”

The need to bring her to full pleasure flooded all of my senses, crowding out my worry, drowning my growing hunger. With a wild growl and strength I cannot explain, I ran my hands behind her knees, lifting her from the floor as though she weighed no more than a rag doll. I twisted around, lowering her to the lid of the freezer, my mouth never leaving that precious space between her legs. I stooped over her, returning to my deep tonguing while adding a finger or two to the mix. Free from the struggle to keep upright, she thrashed against me with abandon. Replacing my mouth with my fingers, I fucked her knuckle deep with one, then two, then three. I swirled my tongue around my flexing hand, across her sex, sensing that familiar bump that was her clit. Drawing the nub between my lips, I nibbled and sucked on it as I continued to pump her pussy almost wrist deep.

She let out a long, high-pitched “Yes!”

Being face first against her brilliance was an unimaginable luxury.

I couldn’t keep my eyes open in the wash of her bright light. It was her strongest orgasm yet, and there I was, face pressed against the source. I continued to ravage her, reveling in her crescendo of squeals. For a moment I lamented not joining with her in the traditional manner, and therefore unable to drink in her power. This fleeting doubt passed when I realized my hunger was fading. As my tongue raked against her light, I drew her essence into me. It poured over my lips, my teeth, my tongue, down my throat in great swells of brilliant ecstasy. I swallowed it all, greedy for more as I lapped and licked. Honey wasn’t a strong enough description for the sweetness of her pleasure.

Next thing I knew I was licking the air, as the Madam snatched me by the ears and yanked my mouth away from her.

“Enough,” she said. “Enough, I can’t take naw more.”

Between her hot palms I looked up to her, pleased to see a smile on her lips as she gasped to her next breath.

“Was it that good?” I asked.

She drew a deep breath, then nodded.

“I enjoyed it too,” I said.

“Ya sure ya ain’t done that before?” she asked.

“No, ma’am.”

She patted my cheeks before she released my face. “Seems like ya a natural at more than one thing.”

“Thanks,” I said, lowering my gaze in genuine shyness this time as I wiped her from my mouth with the tail of my shirt.

Smoothing down her skirt, she sat up on the edge of the freezer and drew another deep breath. “Yes, that was very fine. Ya learn fast, boy.”

“Only because I have an excellent teacher.” I stuffed my aching erection back into my pants, grunting as I worked the zipper back over the lump. I was either going to have to find a different place to park that bad boy, or invest in elastic pants.

“Oh, Petar!” she gasped as she caught sight of my cock. Her hand fluttered to her chest in worry.

“What?”

“Ya didn’t get ya share. I’m so sorry. I wasn’t thinking—”

“I did.”

She eyed me.

“I was able to … without being … you know …” I stammered. I didn’t know how to put it.

“Don’t dance around it, boy. Ta put it bluntly, ya ate me.”

I grinned. “I guess so.”

“I’m glad ya were able ta get ya fix.”

I moved closer to her, intoxicated by her mere presence. I don’t know if it was the perpetual erection or the fact that I just liked sex, but I couldn’t seem to get enough of her. I kissed her forehead. “How could I not, when the meal was so superb?”

She stared up at me, her eyes half-hooded with desire. “That’s mighty handy ta know, ‘cause I sure could get used ta that kinda cooking.”

“My compliments to the chef,” I said, then lowered my mouth to hers.

It should be noted that although I had fucked the ever-living light out of this woman, quite literally, we had yet to kiss. Just kiss. Something so simple, yet somewhere along the lines we missed it. Again, jumping right in with cock a-plunging, I missed out on the little things along the way.

But unlike the fortune of foreplay, the kiss didn’t quite work out.

For me it was elation. A mouthful of warmth not unlike her sex, yet somehow more intimate. When our mouths touched, I felt an immediate connection to this woman, this being, this creature of light. I leaned into the kiss with fervor, as if eager to sear our souls together, lips first. That was when I realized she was backing away, trying to escape my seeking mouth.

“Ugh,” she grunted. “No, Petar, stop.”

She put her hand to her mouth, trying to hide her retching, but it was too late. I had already seen the look of disgust. I backed away, giving her room to take a breath untainted by my scent. After a few moments she ceased gagging, looking up to me with pity in her eyes.

“I can’t,” she said. “I wanted ta, but I can’t.”

“Did I do something wrong?” I asked.

“Naw,” she said at first, then quickly followed this with, “Well, ya.”

I slumped against the freezer as my swollen ego deflated with a whimper. All that erotic buildup only to lose it to a rotten kiss. How could I be so good at pleasing her but such a poor kisser? “Was I really that bad?”

“Naw,” she said. “Naw it wasn’t anythin’ ya did. It was … me?”

“Truth is best,” I reminded her.

“Truthfully?”

I nodded.

“What can Sangrail say?” she asked. “It was like kissin’ a corpse.”

“You don’t seem to mind fucking a corpse.” I winced, knowing my words would set us back into another argument.

To my surprise, the Madam let it slide, maybe because she realized how hard this was on me. She shook her head, saying, “Havin’ ya mouth downstairs is one thing, even ya tongue all over mah body is fine. But ya tongue in mah mouth? Ya tongue tastes … it tastes like the dead, boy.”

I closed my eyes as her words cut me to the quick.

“I’m sorry, Petar,” she said.

“No,” I said. “Don’t be. It’s not your fault I’m dead.”

“Ya but—” she started, but her words were cut short by a sharp knock at the door.

We both turned our heads to the sound.

“Who could that be?” she asked as she jumped off the freezer. She was at the kitchen door before she turned back to me and added, “Ya stay here boy. And I hate ta say it, but ya might—”

“Just tell me when to get back in,” I said, patting the freezer to show her I understood.

As she went to the door, I lifted myself onto the icebox, awaiting my Madam’s next instruction. I tried not to dwell on what just happened, on how she rejected my kiss, but I couldn’t stop thinking about it. The look of disgust on her face, the way she rubbed at her mouth to get my taste out, the brief gagging session as if the action itself made her want to vomit. It was horrible. Yet what was even more devastating was the implication of it.

What if I could never kiss anyone again?

You can’t imagine how devastating this revelation was to me. Ever since I was a young boy I had built up a whole romanticism around the kiss. From books, to magazines, to the silver screen I had daydreamed half my life away about the magic of kissing. To me, the kiss was so much more than just the touching of lips or the swapping of various bodily fluids. A kiss was more than a step in foreplay or a quick way to say hello or goodbye. It could transcribe all emotion and transcend all thought, could comfort or conquer, convince or consume. A kiss from parent to child was a mark of affection; between friends it was well-shared joy. But a kiss between lovers, that was desire at its purest. It tore at me to think that the kiss, that ideal of ideals, I could never share with another living soul.

“Petar,” the Madam said, drawing me from my self-pity.

“Yes, ma’am?” I asked. As I turned to her, I was shocked at the look of worry she wore. She then said three little words that I never imagined I would hear her say, especially not so soon. No, they weren’t the three words you’re probably thinking. Heaven knows I would long to hear her say those very words soon enough.

But these were three very different words.

“You have guests.”

******************************************************
Click here to purchase the paperback novel.

Click here to purchase the Kindle version.