2. Family Matters

“What did you just do?” Eddie Vance reflected that his nights were getting progressively stranger as he put the question to Abby. What he should be doing was pressing to her cute body while basking in the afterglow of great sex but instead right now he was envying the large tome she was propped up against. He wondered if anyone before had ever pondered the emptiness that comes far too soon after a nice hard screw, the feeling that would soon become a craving once more to fill the void if only for a few sweaty moments.

The ability to reproduce, sex, some argued was God’s curse set to Adam and Eve for discovering the difference between good and evil. That evening Eddie would argue rather that it was sense of loss after the most intimate of connections.

Abby might be able to read minds, he pondered, because she remained silently watching him while wheels turned in his head. Putting on a smile first he took a sip from empty water bottle to try and steady his heart rate and mind. It didn’t really help much even if he managed to shake out the last drops.

The dusky beauty let fine lashes close over striking blue eyes. Her full lips curled against one another as she desired his mouth once more. Rough fingers pattered on dark leather front. Blunted nail slid against closed pages. “I took out a bit of insurance you might say on our souls.”

“Insurance? Well if we skip the metaphors what exactly did you do?” Thus Eddie implied that magic was something real even if weeks ago he would have scoffed at the motion. Blame the succubus. With a sigh he slid out one foot to stroke toes against the smoothness of her shin.

She shivered and rolled tones of appreciation deep in pert chest. Sex tasseled hair framed pretty gaze as it feel into the fertile fields of his. “Well by copulating atop this book, our family’s grimoire, and then using our mixed fluids to accentuate the magic circle I bound half of each of other souls to this very volume.” She held the dread volume up. “So, if Pi is not nearly as innocent as she looks and tries to devour our beings or drag us down to hell as long as she does not have this book or it has not been destroyed we should be safe.”

Eddie’s lips made an O as he blinked dimly. He rubbed at one eyes socket in thought. “I don’t think she’s going to do that but, um, okay. Should be?”

“Well, I’ve been out of practice for some time.” The Englishwoman with Hindi ripples admitted wry. Still her smile remained lovely even in such a state. “I gave up witchcraft when I was a teen. Too many lesbians, man haters of both genders, wiccans and whiney social misfits. That and my parents thought it would be best after a few problems.”

“Oh.” Unashamed of his nakedness Eddie wiggled his bottle and slipped back to his feet to get another one. He was bone dry. Losing six of his twelve ounces might have something to do with that and the empty feeling. “Oh. So are you a white witch or a black witch or what?”

Abby tired to pull hair back into proper place with raking fingers. “Neither? I don’t follow any of that modern claptrap, Eddie. Our family’s tradition in the dark arts, well it goes back pretty far.”

“Wait.” The mathematician held up one finger. “Does this mean we’re like, married?”

“No!” Laughing out loud as her cheeks darkened Abby gave him a two fingered salute before her amusement died down into giggles. “Wanker! No, no, no!” She had to take a cleansing breath before continuing. “It’s just a precaution and nothing more. A matter of blood and lineage. I’m not surprised your side of the family across the pond never told you any of this.”

“This being?” Breaking the seal Eddie took too strong gulps before he strolled back over and sat down across from her. He handed her a second bottle too. “That we’re witches and warlocks? I don’t have to go to some special school with lame mascots and flying polo now do I?”

Abby offered out the book and a quiet tut. “This spell book has been passed down to the first born woman of every generation for; well let us just say it goes back to when the Roman’s were busy building walls? Some of the pages at any rate. Within it is the collected knowledge of our forbearers along with notes taken since.”

“Alright so the Blackmoors have been witches for a really long time, got that. The infernal sort I’m guessing then?” Back to white or black, Eddie thought. He didn’t want to upset his cousin though so such things were unsaid. “I guess that does explain your reaction to Pi. Have you met succubae before?”

“Once in passing when I was rather young and he was technically an incubus that a family friend had bound to… mmm warm her bed after her husband passed away. At any rate yes I’ve had some experience with the supernatural elements and our ancestors conversed and worked with denizens of Hell and other dark regions.” Abby offered a flowing gesture before reaching for her own water. Once she took a sip and brushed lip dry with tongue she set her chin down atop the book and studied him.

Eddie’s propensity for levity reared up. “Like New Jersey?”

“No.” Abby gave her head a little shake that made her eyes roll. “No Jersey is involved New or otherwise, Edward, now hush.”

“But you said if I had any questions.” He countered.

“I said you must have some questions, not that I was going to answer any of them.” She quipped back before giggling. Lovely lips parted to swallow more water. “I mean please, ask away.”

“Okay so what do you mean other dark regions?” Eddie’s curiosity and brows rose as he leaned forward.

“For example.” Book was moved away from incredible bust line and Abby felt Eddie’s gaze move right to full breasts. She flipped the tome open and after searching for a scant few seconds used herself as an easel. Eddie sulked and she had to stifle laughter. “Eddie, concentrate.”

“That’s easy for you to say.” He snorted.

“No really, it’s not.” One elegant arm hung over the book. Oh there was nothing more she wanted to do right now than curl back up to her cousin’s skin and try and coax him to thickness. “Still let us not dwell on earthy desires, for now. Now if you look here.” Tap. “As I was saying for example here Lord Alexander Blackmoor discusses his work with an ashura cult in India. Think of them as Hindu demons.”

“Oh, so there is more than one Hell? It would stand that there as more than one heaven then.” Eddie framed his chin with fingers and deep contemplation wound its way into the muscles of his neck. “Then where are they? I mean are we talking parallel universes or some sort of pocket of reality attached to ours like… like.”

“Uh. That’s something metaphysicians have been arguing for centuries, Eddie.” The book was gently closed. “I’m afraid I can’t give you the answers. Now as the world turned against the tides of those who walked beside the things that live in shadow our family along with others decided to… Eddie? Are you okay?”

“Huh?” Eddie forced the mathematical principles involved with Heavens and Hells from his head, or at the very least back to the recesses where they could fester and churn. Again he felt like a flash of insight was going to burst from him — or his sanity was going to fracture, “Sorry. So we along with others decided to come and settle Devonshire? That’s what you’re going to say?”

“Well we along with twelve other witch-blooded families yes. I know, I know, thirteen, it’s a cliché. St. Agatha’s didn’t exist before the Thirteen built their first homes here and paid a good amount of coin to construct a one road in and out. ” She sighed and leaned back. The book was set off to the side. “It became a refuge for infernalists to continue their work without the fervor sweeping across the world. Terrible times.”

“I’d guess if you were a witch. If you got turned into a toad thought… Wait can you turn people into a toad?” He leaned forward first before wiggling close to her side and opening arms offering to hold her.

It wasn’t something Abby could resist. Her hair tickled at his chest before comfortable weight of head followed. She smoothed her palm across his stomach and just… sighed. Now this was nice. “I’ve never tried and the forces of the beyond should never be used lightly.”

“Okay.” Dipping his face the geek nuzzled her crown. “So our ancestors and their peers came here to start their own town like the Quakers of the dark side or something. What then? I mean Pi implied that our family along with the university has a lot of history behind it. You said they came and founded St. Agatha’s but that’s just the school.”

“Right. That was all there was in the beginning, well besides the houses surrounding it.” Abby purred as his strong and smoother hand curled around her shoulder. The sculptor could get used to this but knew she likely wouldn’t, not with the succubus around. “Likewise St. Agatha’s started as a faux-church. Blasphemy was abound of course as they performed foul rites in ‘hallowed halls.’ The church, or so I’ve been told, was named after not an actual saint but the arch-diabolist who put the whole plan together.”

“So St. Agatha was a real person?” Down her arm Eddie gently tickled the crook of the sculptor’s elbow.

“Most saints were.” Abby pointed out pedantic.

“So you claim.” Flippant Eddie pecked the top of her head. “So, was this Agatha one of our relatives?”

“I don’t know but I don’t think so. I have no idea who she was really. One of the coven’s at the school reveres her, well like a saint. But they are a bunch of cu- well let me just say I don’t like them. They are of old blood just like I am.” She fanned fingers atop one breast. “However the Blackmoors fell into disfavor when for the most part we gave up our ways. One brother moved to the colonies and thus your line was born. While the English side kept our partnerships with the infernal spotty from that point on. Eventually the line became the Booths.”

“So we’re sort of like black sheep?” Brows rose as he asked and was glad to have her body resting against his. Finding out where he came from? It was startling but just as valuable. His parents back home were never going to hear about this, or him sexing up Abby.

“No not at all. That would be the Grays. We’re more like prodigal sons that return to the fold now and again.” Abby nodded lightly, thus running her cheek against his chest. She pressed closer and grew more at ease.

“Right so how did St. Agatha’s become Devonshire?” Eddie closed his eyes and just basked in the quiet glow of the barn.

“Ah well the region was prosperous and prosperity always brings others too it hoping to get some of their own. St. Agatha’s practices went underground, the church turned into a school first for the sons and daughters of the founders to keep tradition alive. Then as they realized they could make more money the elders decided to make it a more public institution. The town sprung up around the school.” Abby lifted one hand for a moment before letting the gravity of his form pull it back to down. “Eventually the old ways faded for quite a few of the Thirteen. Oh some of them still take their contracts very seriously and there are mmm, seven covens around the area at the moment I think? But it’s nowhere near its heyday.”

“So your parents?” Eddie let the question hang.

“Oh Father is a warlock but hardly practices any more ever since one of his siblings got dragged off to Hell knows where. Mother was part of one of those ashura cults I mentioned earlier. Every since Alexander’s day there has been a lot of contact between them and us. They fell madly in love as teens when he took a trip there.” The swarthy woman sighed. “It really is pretty romantic. Even diabolists fall in love after all, we are all human. Which brings me around to Pi.”

“Yeah?” As he tipped his head to try and get a better look at her face Eddie wasn’t disappointed with the artist turned her elegant features up toward him. “What about Pi?”

“She’s a demon, Eddie. A succubus. You know a monster from hell, fallen angel.” Reaching up Abby tapped on the middle of his forehead with a knuckle. Come on man think! Not that it was easy to think cuddled up post-coital.

“I don’t know about that. I mean yes she’s a demon but I don’t think we’ve got anything to fear from her.” He sighed, deep.

“Anything to fear?” When she peeled away from him Abby waxed offended. “Eddie. Demons are not people. They are those cast down from Heaven who works toward the destruction and defilement of mankind. You always have to be careful with them, every smile has some nefarious reason behind it and every contract risks your soul.”

“So… why would we Blackmoors traffic with them then?” He scratched at the inside of one socket. “I mean if they are so dangerous.”

“Power of course. They offer something outside the box, something that money, good name and prestige can’t buy.” The witch explained and pulled the book back over to them with a lovely stretch of her body. “Most of us never deal with demons directly either, the devil’s bargains are always bad after all. There are just dark rivers of power to tap into. I don’t suppose you read old English?”

“Yeah, no. Now if it was all in you know calculus formulas and that sort of thing I wouldn’t have an issue.” Sniffing at their mixed scents that still lingered in the air he grinned lightly to his cousin. “We’re all good at something. Languages aren’t that something for me.”

“Typical colonist.” She teased. “At any rate the one thing you cannot forget, and I know I am over-stressing this but Pi isn’t human. You have to look behind her every motivation or else you are going to end up in a very bad place, Eddie. I am not going to just sit idly by and let that happen to either one of us.”

“Okay.” Eddie did his best to hide doubt in his voice. In his heart of hearts he knew he didn’t have anything to worry about when it came to Pi. However, Abby was far and away more knowledgeable about this secret world and he couldn’t discount what she was saying out of hand. Then again he had a feeling he would.

“I mean it.” After a hiss Abby flopped back with a lovely roll of breasts and settled her head on the edge of the tome to relax. Feet were moved to his damp lap. “Okay what else can I answer for you?”

“Okay so you are in a coven? That’s a group of witches, right?” On reflex his hand came down to stroke at her toes, the top of her foot. Apparently such a motion was archetypically female. His gaze roamed back and forth from her round hills to face.

“I am again yes. Some friends I’ve had since my schoolgirl days actually. They come from the other old families and are fairly nice. They were pretty worried when I came to them about the succubus thing.” For good reason, Abby thought. “So they elected to help and pointed me in the right direction. I guess it just means I will have to spend some time brushing up on my spells and that sort of thing.”

“Anyone I know?” Yes he was probing. Fingers smoothed down all the way to her knee.

“Victoria of course. I am sure you guessed that, something about her just screams witch.” Sighing deep with pleasure Abby rolled her hips. Ravaged lips pressed against her panties.

Eddie chuckled and let go of her foot to settle down beside the exotic beauty. “Well the nature themed tattoos and her habit of saying Goddess instead of God sort of gives it away yes.”

“Fair points.” On instinct the artist curled into him. One long soft leg slithered over the top of his. Abby hadn’t shaved her legs just for the enjoyment of a man in far too long. It felt fantastic to rub flesh against flesh. She was already fantasizing about the next time they slept together. Hopefully that didn’t have to come about because of a hastily put together ritual. “The other is a woman named Mallory. She’s a bit of a shut-in I’m afraid. I’ve only been over to her new flat… three times now in the last four years? However she is an ace at online networking with other infernalists.”

“There’s social sites for Satanists?” Eddie followed up the question with a huh. “I guess that shouldn’t surprise me. So how widespread is the whole servants of the unholy thing in Devonshire?”

“Well let me make a clear difference between servants and those like myself that use it for their own advantage. I’d say as far as I know there are five or six folks in the whole area that are beholden to demons as far as anyone knows? Then you’ve got the seven covens so that gives you what… twenty six? I am sure there are a few bumbling fools around town too.” Abby slowly ticked of her numbers each with a scratch of nail along one of his ribs.

Eddie groaned as he shivered. Next time he’d have to take it even slower with her, especially the foreplay. “Shouldn’t it be twenty one? Seven covens, three people each?”

“Pish posh, Eddie.” The sculptor’s tone didn’t hold much admonishment to it, how could it when she nibbled at the edge of his shoulder. Warm tongue swept out and gathered salt from skin. She could stand to just lie around and taste him all day. “There are some that are three, some that are four, seven or even nine. In the end the modern world is such a hodgepodge of collided religions, even cults within the shadows, that there really isn’t any traditional way to do things. No matter what the St. Agatha Society claims.”

“Wait? They are the snotty witches? Holy shit.” His laugh was low as he turned to her and pecked along hairline. His strong leg teased up and down against hers. At least he knew that Abby and he wasn’t going to offend Pi. Hell, the demoness was probably going to be really amused. “I guess I can see it. They’ve got that mm so superior it’s scary feel.”

“Yeah. They along with their professor sponsors are dangerous so let’s try to avoid them if we can. They also have their claws into a warlock league.” Abby pursed her lips and brushed nose against his as she tilted closer. “I’m sure you’ve run across Richard Chadwick? His family has been interlaced with both sects since the founding.”

“Chadwick?” Eddie’s frown only urged her to kiss the expression away. “Yeah, yeah I have. He rolls the worst parts of blue-blood and jock all together. I’ve had a few runs in with him but not as many as poor Woody and Quince.”

“Oh well, I would just stay out of his and his mother’s way really. Once they find out I’ve taken back up the cause as it were and if they find out that you’re beholden to a succubus.” Sighing lightly Abby kissed him first, just a small sweet peck. Her arresting eyes slipped closed. “It is going to be messy. They like to think they are the center of the universe and will try to involve themselves.”

“Great.” The word was puffed out but Eddie didn’t elaborate. Instead he took his own kiss, something lingering. The soft meat of each cousin’s settled against the others and while they moved together they would not separate for some time. His jaw muscles worked, her throat reverberated with pleasure. It was Abby who first parted her lips and girlish tongue tip tasted the seam of Eddie’s mouth as they begged to be given entry.

The geek was more than happy to oblige. His mouth opened for hers and his tongue stroked its sinful greeting. As soon as the talking muscle was available Abby’s tongue teasingly retreated and her lips sucked at his. Shuddering Eddie closed his eyes and basked in the moment. His teeth caught her lower lip once the kiss started to break then sucked and raked. He wasn’t going to let the moment pass anytime soon. Toes brushed and Abby leaned back in for a heated kiss, more dancing of their tongues. A shiver rolled across both of them. Her hands curled against the strength of his chest and his caressed along the side of a breast.

“So are we keeping this in the family then?” Eddie asked, so quietly at first the artist almost missed it. With a womanly sniff Abby pulled her face away before giving his side a hard sock. He made a startled and questioning sound before realizing exactly what he said. “Hey I wasn’t even being cheeky.”

“It was still in really poor taste.” From the cuddle Abby rolled and tried not to be put out – to forget how much she wanted to keep kissing. One arm slid under her dark mane and legs crossed at the ankle. After hesitation Eddie stroked a hand over her stomach and scooted closer. She giggled in an exasperated manner and let this be. “You really didn’t mean it to be?”

“Cross my heart.” He emphasized his honesty with the correct gesture, across her chest and just grinned a bit wicked. “Don’t hope to die anytime soon though. Okay so I’ll watch out for Dick and those that run with him and will tell Pi too. No worries okay?”

“I am afraid you have burdened me with more than a few worries, Eddie.” She turned her face away from his and licked across her lower lip. It was going to be marked by his teeth for a few hours and that delighted her. “However I’m sure I’ll survive. We British do have steel in our veins after all.”

“Really? You don’t feel like steel to be on top of.” Eddie tickled across her tummy and then down lower. “Now that is me being cheeky.”

“You are just lucky you are cute.” Drawing in a long breath she tried to ignore the tickling. Rough fingers curled against her own scalp. “My parents are going to kill us if they find out about this. Me first probably.” “I thought that Brits were all about keeping bloodlines pu-owww! Come on!” Away from two painful pinches Eddie sat up before leaning back on his hands. “Geez you are really are violent aren’t you?”

“My mother does worship bloodthirsty demoness’ so.” After a dance of brows Abby moved to lie on her side once more. Every time one of them shifted away the other came closer. She plainly knew what was going on and was frankly alright with it. “There is no bloodline mixing going on here, okay?”

“I know, I was just teasing, Abby.” The mathematician gave his head a good shake to clear out the last of sex laden cobwebs. They were talking about witches, warlocks, and all that dark business. “So what about other demons? I mean if Pi can look like a real person and interact fine, you know even have a job? Are there others running around Devonshire?”

“Not that I know of?” When she shut her eyes Abby was plainly thinking hard. Cute creases appeared in her forehead where she worried about getting wrinkles juts as her mother had. Genetics doomed everyone in the end. Well those not willing to bathe in the blood of ritually slaughtered virgins. Unfortunately Abby fell into that category, for now. “From what I’ve read most of the time demons can’t exist on Earth for very long, nor can angels any more. Something about the world changed, mm, around the age of enlightenment. So the best you’ve got now is possession, the occasional binding circle or those without bodies.”

“Math.” Eddie blurted out before getting the queerest look from Abby. “Pi explained it to me and I guess that must be why she can exist here so easily. She’s the representation of the number Pi; some folks say it is the devil’s number that it has the blueprint for reality in it. Well, the more secular the world becomes, the more it relies on math and science the less that Heaven and Hell can interact with it. Simply put mmm.”He curled in his lips. “Well I guess it’s not simple. It would be like bringing a baseball bat into a cricket game. You wouldn’t get to use it and it would be thrown out eventually. Okay I guess that’s not really a good analogy.”

“No, no.” Waving off the bit about not being good Abby sat up now too and swept errant hair from her face. “So that’s the reason then? I mean I’ve heard my peers and betters talk about how the circles seem all wrong now. Everyone assumes there was just some aspect of the art lost with the Inquisition or something.” She licked at her lips pushed back open the book. “But what if it’s just simply math has changed? The way if expressing the world has changed.”

“Exactly. Pi, well she wants to help me change it again.” Instantly regretting what he just said Eddie grimaced. He wasn’t sure if Abby should know that fact but it was too late now wasn’t it? Damn it.

“Really now?” Curiosity flared in Abby’s gaze. Back away from him she shifted and wool cover bunched at the back of her ass. The born again witch peered down at the book. Fingers traced of the symbols on a page before she flipped to a summoning circle. “To make hell on earth or something terrible akin to that?”

“No. Apparently,” The nerd’s voice dropped to a whisper. “The idea is to make human reality more restrictive. It seems Hell is okay with losing Earth if Heaven can’t have it either. I mean I guess they feel it’s a bigger middle finger to God.”

“Huh?” Abby tilted her head to the side, lips pursed. “It’s different than either side portrays things but I could see how it would work. It’s winning in a backhanded way. It’s meaner when you think about it and a lot more self-sacrificing than any would expect. So she’s the embodiment of Pi? Wow. I thought it was pie, like the euphemism.”

“Oh! No. No. So I guess that’s why she can stay here. I’ll just have to ask Pi about the demon thing. I hope the answer is no really from the worry you have. I mean can you imagine how messy it will get with witches and warlocks, and demons!” Eddie grumbled.

“And angels, you can’t forget angels. From what Father says they are really the worst.” First standing up Abby was glad her legs were working again despite thighs feeling a bit like pudding. She trotted over to get herself a third water to and reflected on how decadent she felt right now. Prancing about, post sex, just in underwear and in a barn? And the sex happened to be with a cousin, albeit a distant one. She was definitely going to Hell but right now she felt giddy and empowered. “He told me that he met one once and they are nothing like helpful little fat cherubs.”

“Pillars of salt and all that? Yeah old testament angels aren’t exactly cuddly are they?” Eddie admired her behind and plainly so. “Well let’s hope none of those are hanging around either. So there is some sort of almost mathematical basis behind the spells in here?”

“Well some of them. Sacred geometry, correct sigil placement, unholy angles and all that.” Abby slowly posed, just for him. She even gave her head a snap to make lush hair cascade. While she knew she was not even close to as hot as Pi the artist was pretty sure she was a stunner. “So I guess so? I’ve never really been stellar at math.”

“I see. Well would you mind showing me the base principles? I mean not right now and I don’t want to sign any black book or become a warlock or something but,” With a sigh Eddie turned to look at the book and brows unknowingly across dark secrets. “If I can grasp the math behind it, well I don’t know. I might be able to figure out things in my head. Unholy angles you said? That sounds very Lovecraftian.”

“Save we don’t actually live in an uncaring universe.” Moving gracefully on the balls of bare feet Abby stroked nails across his strong shoulders once she was near again. Eddie was no bit of beefcake but he was just right between her thighs. “God exists and the Devil exits and they both care about us very much, but in different ways. I can’t really say which is worse.” Lovely throat flexing as she gulped Abby glanced up but at nothing in particular. Apparently they had a barn cat? She swore she saw the shape of one move up there in the rafters. The deep question however prevented her from trying to seek the feline out. “Okay I will show you some of the basics and see if your keen little mind comes up with the math behind it because the idea is lost on me really. Just, let’s keep this between you and me? All of it?”

“No telling Pi?” That struck Eddie is wrong. “Well, I think at the very least she should know that we’ve had sex. Are we going to keep having sex?”

His eyes said please and that made Abby smile like a schoolgirl. “Yes we can keep having sex now and again and yes… I guess you can tell her if you feel it is important.”

“I do. However for now I think you and I need to just lay here and what’s the word, snog?” He did his best to be debonair with a slow cant of the head and a stretch that wasn’t quite all that.

Trying very hard not to laugh Abby finished off her water. “Snogging it is then.”

Off-white for very good reasons the demonic pussy cat moved deeper back into the recesses of gloom above. The mistress was going to be very interested to learn about everything that had gone on tonight and that indeed Pi was up to the same game as always. Wiggling through a hole she’d found while eating spiders earlier the transformed imp picked her way carefully along old boards before leaping down to the ground. It was a real shame that Aphex wasn’t hanging around though; she hadn’t seen him in forever.

Long tail curled into itself and Tangent stepped in the spaces between. A ripple of steam was left behind. Hopefully the Mistress had everything packed in Paris. She didn’t want to do any heavy lifting, just her Aphie.


Session Four

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