Author: Jana Denardo
Fandom: Lucerna Universe
Author’s Notes The Lucerna Universe is my creation. It started with Triskelion for the M/M romance goodreads group’s 2014 Love’s Landscape challenge. You can read the original here. though you have to be a member of the group to do so (like all Goodreads groups it’s free). I’ve noodled around a couple times in this universe. I wrote this one as a double challenge. One for picfor1000 challenge which is to write a story of 1000 words exactly to a picture prompt. Mine is here, though I couldn’t work in the money part (other than to mention wine’s expensive). The second challenge is for Chuck Wendig’s challenge in his Terrible Mind’s blog to write 1000 word flash fiction using one of the titles prompts he offered. You can see the details here.
“We need to get more jobs in fun places.” Jason sat down at their table in Athens Uncorked.
Faolan couldn’t argue. Wine bars were certainly better than hamstring-breaking death runs through Hocking Hills after some demon. Derrek's expression suggested he might argue. When didn't a werewolf argue with anything that came out of a vampire's mouth? What was he thinking when he got involved in a three-way with a vampire and a wolf? Oh right, those little things called lust and love.
“I prefer beer,” Derrek argued on cue.
Faolan sat between them, ignoring Jason's eye roll. “Unfortunately, the Cider House or Jackie O's isn't reporting a series of men being found drained of energy after a night there. Uncorked is.”
“They do have beer,” Jason said, “Like that's what one gets at a wine bar.”
Derrek showed his teeth in a wolfy dominating fashion that he knew wouldn't impress Jason unless he actually bit him.
“We are in agreement we're probably facing a succubus, right?” Faolan asked as they waited for their server.
“I love succubi.” Jason smiled, eyes dreamy.
“Just how much sex do you leeches need to have in a given week?” Derrek huffed.
“I'd think you'd know that by now,” Jason shot back, making the youngest and shyest of their threesome blush. Not much could embarrass Jason that Faolan could think of but embarrassing Derrek was like shooting fish in a barrel.
“We're just looking like we're open to seduction here, Jason. I swear, if the succubus gets her hooks into you, I'm letting her finish with you.”
Jason flapped a hand at him. “It's not like she's killing her marks but I suppose it's just a matter of time. So, red or white?”
“Red gives me headaches,” Faolan said. “Let's try a white flight. Derrek, are you going to try the wine?”
Derrek shrugged. “Yeah.”
Once they got their flight, Faolan scanned the room. The attacks always happened on a Friday night. Granted 'attack' was a strong word for it. Mostly what the men reported was going home with a pretty Marilyn Monroe type platinum blonde, lots of great sex and then being unable to get out of the bed for at least two days because they were so weak.
All Faolan saw at the moment was the beatific Buddha on the wall behind their table, two older couples and a rather loud foursome, all women, all middle-aged. It was early still. Catching the succubus might take a while. This could get expensive. At least their wine was delicious.
As they sipped and waited for a viable candidate to come in, Jason ordered the dessert truffles. The vampire has a surprising sweet tooth. They had ordered another flight just before two women entered the bar. They had debated if the succubus would be alone. In a regular bar that wouldn't be a problem but Athens Uncorked was more of a group sort of place.
They took the table next to theirs. The two women spoke softly, the blonde smiling at them from time to time until her darker haired companion moved to the bar to talk to an older gentleman who didn't fit the profile of the known victims. Alone now, the blonde waved at them. “Hi, I'm Alyssa. My friend is off chasing her Daddy fetish.” She inclined her head toward the bar. “May I join your party of handsome gentleman?”
“Sure.” Jason beamed at her. Faolan wasn't surprised Jason was the one Alyssa chose to sit next to, snuggling her chair in between him and Derrek. “I'm Jason. The pup's Derrek, and this is Faolan.”
Derrek curled his lip at Jason as he leaned in to offered Alyssa his hand. She set down her glass and slid her red manicured fingers into his grip. “Nice to meet you.”
“Delighted. And same to you, Faolan.” She pursed her lips at him, and Faolan smiled.
“I see you have the white. Would you like a taste of my red in exchange?” Alyssa asked that directly to Jason who agreed readily.
As they flirted back and forth, Derrek leaned over and whispered to Faolan, “That's not a girl.”
Faolan's eyebrows climbed. He didn't doubt what Derrek's nose had picked up. “And?”
“Not entirely human either. Not sure what though.”
Faolan nodded. Derrek didn't know what a succubus smelled like. After a few more minutes, dutifully drinking their wine, Faolan stood up and flashed Jason their prearranged signal, the Vulcan hand greeting, geeky but so was he. “Derrek and I are going to go. You and Alyssa enjoy yourselves.”
“We will. Try not to break the bed.” Jason smirked.
“Ass.” Derrek followed Faolan outside where they stood outside of view of from inside the bar. “Have you ever heard of a transgendered incubus?”
“No. I never consider the higher order demons as having gender issues...or genders. Makes sense I suppose since they are sex demons.” Faolan slipped his wand out of his pocket.
It took another half hour before Jason appeared with Alyssa. Her eyes widened when she spotted them and she backpedaled.
“You were waiting...please, don't hurt me!”
“You're the one hurting people.” Faolan raised wand.
“You know?” Alyssa covered her mouth. “You're not human either?”
“Human, wolf and vamp,” Jason said. “Sorry babe. We're Lucerna. We can't let you kill your lovers.”
“I would never! I'm very careful. Please, I don't want to die.”
She sounded so afraid, Faolan felt bad. “It's our job.”
“I'll take even less energy. Can that work? I could tell you things I know the worst of my kind are doing? I don't want to die!” Alyssa shook.
“An informant? Can we do that?” Derrek asked.
Faolan lowered his wand. “Maybe. We're going to take you to the Ridges, and we'll talk.”
Alyssa wept, nodding.
“This is different,” Jason said.
Faolan agreed. Centuries ago they thought vampires were irredeemable. They had been wrong. He wouldn't bet on salvaging many sex demons but this could be the start of something.